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Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputies have identified the Hartland farmer who died Thursday evening when he apparently was struck by a tree that he was cutting.

Melvin J. Nichols, 88, was pronounced dead at the scene in a field behind his Wheeler Road home by Niagara County Coroner Kenneth V. Leaderhouse.

Deputies determined that Nichols was out in the field cutting down trees when one of the trees fell on him. The call came in about 6 p.m. Thursday.

Investigators said it appears the death was accidental. The Criminal Investigation Bureau is investigating.