Denver exec dies when tractor flips
By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Staff Writer
A Denver utility executive who was also a part-time farmer on the Big Island was killed Sunday when the tractor he was operating apparently flipped over, pinning him underneath, Big Island police said.
The victim was identified as Hamlet "Chips" Barry, 66, manager of Denver Water, the water utility for Denver and surrounding communities.
Barry had been operating a tractor in Pa'auilo, about 10 miles east of Honoka'a, Sunday afternoon and was found by his wife, Gail, who went looking for him when he didn't return home, Big Island police said.
"The pasture was uneven," police Sgt. Jefferson Grantz said. "I don't know if he's familiar with the land. Supposedly he moved here not too long ago."
Hawai'i County firefighters responded to a call on Pa'auilo Mauka Road at 7:45 p.m. and found Barry under an overturned tractor, a county news release said.
Barry was the manager of Denver Water for 19 years and had planned to retire this summer, according to a press release from his office.
"We are greatly saddened by the news," said Penfield Tate, president of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners.
A Denver television station said Barry had planned to retire and grow macadamia nuts on his Big Island farm. The Associated Press said Barry produced honey and coffee on his 8-acre farm and had expected to spend more time in the Islands after his retirement, but intended to keep Denver as his primary home.