Accident Briefs – July 2020

Accidents in the tree care industry that occurred during the month of May 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.

This first incident occurred in April but was missed in last month’s summary.

Worker killed in chipper incident

A chipper operator died on the job after an incident April 27, 2020, in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Tanner M. Perry, 25, of Dennison, Ohio, was working with a tree-service company chipping tree limbs when something caused the machine to malfunction. Emergency services received a call reporting that a chipper had “exploded” and one person was badly hurt.

Perry was reported to have been barely breathing and had a severe facial injury, with his whole mouth injured.

Firefighters took Perry to Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital in Dover, but he did not survive his injuries, according to a report in The Times-Reporter.

Two workers hurt when tree falls on house

Two tree-company employees were injured when a tree failed and fell on a house May 6, 2020, in Bullard, Texas.

A tree-trimming service was working near a house when the tree failed. The homeowners weren’t home when the incident occurred, according to a KLTV report.

Both victims were taken to a local hospital for treatment, including one in serious condition, according to a Fox 51 KETK report.

It was not clear from the reports or the accompanying pictures if the uprooted tree was being worked on or if the failure was related in any way to the work being done by the company at the time.

Man pinned, injured by split tree

A man clearing trees next to a business had to be rescued after a tree split and a portion of it pinned him against a concrete wall May 11, 2020, in Youngstown, Ohio.

Firefighters had to cut part of a chain-link fence to get to the man. Paramedics treated him before he was put on a gurney and wheeled to an ambulance. The extent of his injuries was not given, but he could be heard screaming in pain, according to a WKBN/WYFX report.

Tree worker one of two injured in crash

A tree worker was one of two persons injured in a three-vehicle crash May 13, 2020, on South Carolina 170 near Okatie, S.C.

A tree-trimming equipment vehicle was rear-ended by an SUV and a wheel from the vehicle came off, hitting a third car on the highway and causing traffic to shut down.

Both the driver of the truck and the driver of the SUV were taken to hospitals, according to a report in The Island Packet of Bluffton, S.C.

Climber rescued from 80 feet up

A climber was injured and had to be rescued by firefighters from 80 feet up in a tree May 14, 2020, in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Officials said it was not immediately clear what the extent of the person’s injuries were, according to a patch.com report.

Feller killed by cut tree

A tree worker felling a large tree May 20, 2020, in Crestwood, Kentucky, died when the tree fell on him.

A tree company was hired to remove a large tree from a residential property. Benjamin Oliver, 33, had cut a wedge into the front of the tree. He then prepared to move to the rear of the tree to finish cutting it when the tree snapped and fell.

Oliver became trapped underneath, and co-workers were unable to free him due to the weight of the tree, according to a WLKY report.

Climber rescued from 25 feet up in tree

A man helping a friend remove a tree had to be rescued May 21, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after he was struck by a limb and injured 25 feet up.

The victim, a friend of the homeowner, suffered blunt-force trauma and was stuck in the tree.

Fortunately, several of the responding Ann Arbor firefighters are members of the Washtenaw County Technical Rescue Team, with specialized training in dealing with such rescues.

While the injured man wasn’t pinned by the limb, crews had to stabilize the patient and set up a rope system, while others cleared the area and braced a ladder.

Based on the type of climbing and tree-trimming equipment the man had, he seemed to have experience, but he wasn’t doing it as a contractor, a fire-department spokesperson said.

Once down from the tree, the man, who was conscious and alert throughout the entire ordeal, was transported in stable condition to the University of Michigan Hospital, according to a report from The Ann Arbor News and mlive.com.

Tree worker electrocuted

A climber doing tree work was electrocuted May 28, 2020, in Sacramento, California, after making contact with a power line while 50 feet up in a tree.

Fire crews responded for a reported tree fire at a private home and found that the tree trimmer was stuck in a tree about 50 feet off the ground.

When first responders arrived, they found the man, who had been contracted by the property owner, high up in a tree and unresponsive. Officials later confirmed that the man, who was in his 50s, had died.

Power was turned off, and a special team with the fire department trained for these types of incidents assisted with getting the victim out of the tree, according to a CBS13/CW31 Television report.

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