Accident Briefs for March 2022

Type & number of incidents for March 2022

Groundworker electrocuted

A groundworker was electrocuted during tree-trimming operations March 1, 2022, in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dustin L. Gurney, 38, of Janesville, Wisc., was part of a tree-company crew trimming trees when a branch became stuck on a power line. A worker pulled on the branch and it snapped the wire, which swung down and hit a company vehicle that Gurney was leaning on, electrocuting him. He died at the scene.

One killed, one injured by cut tree

One worker was killed and another injured when a tree they were cutting fell the wrong way and struck them March 9, 2022, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Matthew Thompson, from Yutan, Neb., was found pinned under a large tree and unresponsive. Bennington Fire and Rescue pronounced Thompson dead at the scene.

Cooper Lippincott, from Blair, Neb., was found alert and breathing but had a lower extremity injury, which was believed to be a broken leg and/or ankle.

The two men were part of a tree-cutting crew clearing an area for a construction project. Officials at the scene said it appeared all three employees on the job were wearing safety equipment, according to a KETV NewsWatch 7 report.

TV personality injured in struck-by

Kentucky woodsman and TV personality Ernie Brown, Jr., better known as “The Turtleman,” was recovering after he was injured by a falling tree limb March 15, 2022, in Lebanon, Kentucky. Brown was cutting down a tree when a limb fell about 50 feet and hit him, breaking the bones in one of his arms.

“I was cutting a tree. The tree fell perfect. And all of a sudden, bam! It hit me across the neck and shoulders,” Brown explained, according to Animal Planet and reports.

Worker killed in wood chipper

A worker was killed in an incident involving a wood chipper March 16, 2022, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

The worker was part of a tree-company crew contracted by the city of Oshawa to remove ash trees because of infestation by emerald ash borer.

A neighbor who was recording the tree removal on his cellphone reported that he saw the worker get partially pulled into the wood chipper, according to a CTV News Toronto report.

Operator hurt in lift failure

A tree worker was hospitalized with two broken legs and other injuries after an incident involving an aerial-lift truck March 25, 2022, in Braintree, Massachusetts.

According to a co-worker, a pin in the hydraulic arm of the company’s new bucket truck came out, dropping the worker about 40 feet to the ground and trapping him under the bucket.

The victim, a 28-year-old from Quincy, Mass., was reportedly conscious, talking and able to move his toes after the incident.

Rescuers had to jack up the truck and use shovels to dig around the bucket to get the worker out, according to a WCVB-TV 5 report.

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