Accident Briefs for August 2021

Type & number of incidents for August 2021

Man electrocuted using pole saw

A man died after he was shocked while trimming trees from a ladder August 13, 2021, near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office reported that Noah Ness, 33, of Royalton, Minn., was standing on a ladder using a pole saw to cut branches from a tree when he made contact with a power line.

He was flown to M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center, where he later died, according to a WCCO-TV CBS report.

Man killed by cut tree

A man was struck and killed while cutting a tree August 15, 2021, in Perry County, Kentucky. Stacy Lynn Coots, 47, of Viper, Ky., had gone into the woods to cut a tree and ended up being struck by the cut tree. He was pronounced dead on scene, according to a report at

Operator dies when lift’s boom fails

An aerial-lift operator died while trimming trees August 16, 2021, in Douglas, Michigan, after the upper boom of the tracked lift he was using apparently failed.

The upper-boom arm broke off and the bucket fell from a height of at least 40 feet onto the cement approach to a garage. The operator, a 50-year-old Holland, Mich.-area man and owner of a local tree service based in Holland, was pronounced dead at the scene. The fall is believed to have been the result of a mechanical failure of the boom lift, according to a report in The Holland Sentinel.

Operator rescued from stuck lift

An aerial-lift operator for a tree-service company was brought to safety in Waltham, Massachusetts, August 17, 2021, after being stranded in the bucket by a hydraulic failure.

Firefighters were called to perform a technical rescue after the hydraulics failed on the man’s truck, leaving him stuck dozens of feet in the air. No injuries were reported, according to the WHDH TV 7 News report.

Climber rescued from tree after dark

Firefighters helped a climber to safety August 19, 2021, in Ionia County, Mich., after the climber became stuck in a tree about 30 feet above the ground.

Ronald Township firefighters determined the tree trimmer was pinned in the tree by a large limb that had partially fallen.

Crews from the Ionia Department of Public Safety quickly deployed their aerial platform and personnel, safely reaching the man and getting him out of the tree just after dark. He was turned over to Life EMS for treatment, according to a report on

Property owner killed felling tree

An off-duty state police trooper was killed August 21, 2021, in Fayette County, West Virginia, after being struck by a tree he was cutting down on his property.

John Syner, 52, a sergeant and commander of the state police detachment in Marlinton, W. Va., was cutting trees on his property when one of them fell awkwardly and struck him. According to friends, the impact knocked Syner into a nearby pond and caused fatal injuries. Syner was an experienced tree cutter, according to a MetroNews report.

Worker hurt in struck-by

A tree worker was taken to the hospital August 24, 2021, in Sioux City, Iowa, after being struck by a falling branch.

The man was knocked unconscious by a tree branch that fell an estimated 15 feet.

Sioux City Police say the man was taken to a local hospital and was not conscious at the time he was loaded into the ambulance. The severity of his injuries was unknown at the time of the KTIV Television report.

One worker killed, two hurt in crash

A South Carolina tree worker was killed and two co-workers were injured in a crash on a Mississippi highway August 30, 2021, while en route to assist with storm cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Brandon Irby worked for Harris Tree Service and Landscaping in Anderson, S.C., according to the company owner, Justin Harris. Harris said he, Irby and some other crew members were on Interstate 10 in Mississippi when they pulled off to check on a broken hose. Harris said they had all the vehicle lights, flashers and strobe lights on.

He said a driver hauling portable toilets from Michigan fell asleep at the wheel and hit all three of their trucks. Irby was killed, and Harris and another man were injured, according to a WYFF News 4 report.

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