Accident Briefs – December 2020

Accidents in the tree care industry that occurred during the month of October 2020. Graphic compiled from reports gathered by, or submitted to, TCIA staff.

All items taken from published reports or reported directly to TCIA staff, as noted.

Bucket operator shocked by power line

An aerial-lift bucket operator suffered a shock and burns October 3, 2020, in Weathersfield, Connecticut, after making contact with a power line.

A crew was trimming a tree near power lines when the bucket operator made contact with a live line. That party was taken to an area hospital to be treated for burns.

Eversource had to shut power off to the area to allow crew members to safely move their equipment, according to a WFSB-TV-DT Channel 3 report.

Two hurt when tree truck flips

Two drivers suffered minor injuries after a tree-service aerial-lift truck flipped over on Interstate 95 in Warwick, Rhode Island, October 3, 2020.

The truck took out the center guardrail just north of Route 117, and also hit a Jeep.

Both drivers were taken to Rhode Island Hospital with non-serious injuries. Traffic was backed up for about an hour and a half, according to a WJAR NBC 10 News report.

Climber killed by palm fronds

A tree worker died after being crushed by palm fronds October 6, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona.

A man in his 40s was working in the tree when he was crushed by approximately 700 pounds of palm fronds. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found the tree trimmer 20 feet up from the ground in the backyard of a home. He was pronounced dead on the scene, according to a KPHO AZ Family 3TV report.

Landscaper cut by brush saw

A landscape worker was cut by a brush saw October 6, 2020, while cutting brush at a home in Southport, Maine.

The man was injured when the saw blade separated from the shaft and “crawled up his leg, acting like a projectile and slicing his calf and shin area,” according to Southport Fire Chief Gerry Gamage.

The man was transported by LifeFlight of Maine to Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to a Boothbay Register report.

Postal worker rescues man cut by chain saw

A postal worker helped save a man who had cut himself with a chain saw October 9, 2020, in Norwalk, California.

Postal carrier Fernando Garcia was on his route in Norwalk when he heard a call for help. When he got close to the source, he found a man on the ground.

“When he turned around, I saw that he was holding his left arm,” Garcia said. “And he was just covered in blood.”

The victim had accidentally cut his arm with a chain saw while working behind his sister’s home. Garcia jumped into action by creating a tourniquet with his belt until paramedics got there.

“Looped it through the hole, put it around his arm, tightened it as best as I could and just wrapped it up,” he said. “And held it there as best as I could.”

The victim’s family said the man is going to be OK. Garcia said he got the idea to use his belt from watching movies.

After his heroic act, he went to Target to get a new belt and shirt and continued his route – re-enforcing the meaning of “essential worker,” according to the CBSLA KCAL 9 report.

Operator injured in fall from bucket

A tree worker was seriously injured in a fall of 10 to 15 feet from the bucket of his aerial-lift truck October 29, 2020, in Indian River County, Florida.

The man, described as being in his 30s, was conscious when firefighters arrived. Indian River County Fire Rescue took the man to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce with a probable broken leg and other injuries

It was unclear if the worker was cutting limbs at the time of the fall, according to the Treasure Coast Newspapers report.

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