Man Crushed By Bowling Pin Machine

Panama City Beach Police are investigating how a man was crushed by a bowling pin machine at Rockit Lanes.

News Channel 7 has learned a family was bowling on lane 7 Sunday afternoon when the pin machine got stuck. According to a worker, the family kept hitting the lane reset button. She looked down and saw an arm hanging out of the machine.

40-year-old William Martens of Panama City was working on the machine, but had not turned it off.

Three employees worked frantically to free Martens. They had to unplug the machine and then manually crank it to lift it off him. Martens was blue in the face and not breathing when EMS crews arrived.

Martens is listed in critical condition at Bay Medical/Sacred Heart.

The owner of Rockit Lanes, who declined to talk to News Channel 7, told police he did not know why Martens would not have turned off the machine before working on it. He says that’s one of the most important things mechanics learn.

What is also under investigation is why Martens was working on the pin machine at the time of the accident. He had fixed it earlier in the day. The family was moved to lane 8 while he did the repairs. They were moved back when lane 8 malfunctioned.