Deirdre Cox Baker

Having just completed sixth grade, Josh Arp had decided to work for his uncle and earn some money to attend one of his favorite summertime events, the Mississippi Valley Fair.

The 12-year-old died Tuesday morning, the victim of an accident that occurred while he was helping bale hay on the Gary Meincke farm in rural Walcott, Iowa.

The Scott County Sheriff's Department said the boy was flown by MedForce helicopter to Genesis Medical Center-East Campus, Davenport, at 8:14 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the hospital of massive internal injuries.

Investigators said Josh was trying to secure a hay wagon to a truck when the wagon moved, pinning him against the vehicle. Scott County sheriff's deputies are continuing their investigation.

Josh, who had recently finished sixth grade at John Glenn Elementary School in Donahue, Iowa, was the son of Tim and Christie Arp of Donahue. Services are pending at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home in Davenport. Josh is survived by an extensive family, including several cousins, aunts and uncles in the Donahue area.

John Glenn Principal C.J. Albertson described Josh as "the epitome of a great kid." He won a Citizenship Award for always trying hard in school, acting in a dependable manner and working on his friends' behalf.

The principal said the youngster loved the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport, which he wrote about in a recent autobiographical essay.

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

"Josh was a good student and very responsible. He had a good head on his shoulders and would have been a great leader someday," Albertson added.

The principal said Josh was looking forward to starting seventh grade this fall at North Scott Junior High School in Eldridge, where he planned to play football in addition to his studies.

"This was the kind of kid who had no enemies," Albertson said. "Everyone liked Josh, and Josh liked everyone."

Deirdre Cox Baker can be contacted at (563) 383-2492 or