Accident Briefs for February 2022

Type & number of incidents for February 2022

Climber hurt in struck-by

A climber was injured after being struck by a free-falling limb during a crane operation February 14, 2022, in a town in Massachusetts.

The company owner related to TCIA that a climber was operating off a crane, had just finished cutting a leader and was descending to the ground as the crane started to pick the piece. The movement dislodged a short section of another leader, which fell about 25 feet, striking the climber on the head.

The climber was taken to the hospital, but the nature and extent of his injuries were unknown at the time of the report.

Homeowner killed by limb cut by tree workers

A homeowner was struck and killed by a limb February 20, 2022, in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, while a crew was doing tree work outside his home.

Monias Hannah, 44, of Milwaukee, had recently bought the home and didn’t live there yet, but wanted to have some tree work done. Hannah hired two men to remove a few trees and was present while the company was working.

At one point, Hannah walked out of the home and into the driveway to begin filming the crew when a cut branch, 10 to 12 inches in diameter, fell about 20 feet, striking him on the head on its way to the ground.

First responders found Hanna unresponsive and not breathing and began resuscitative efforts, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a WISN-TV 12 report.

This incident was first reported to TCI Magazine by Anna Birnschein, business manager, sales arborist, with Colonial Tree Service, LLC, a 10-year TCIA member company based in Waukesha, Wis. Colonial Tree was not connected to the incident.

Tree worker killed by falling mud mats

A tree worker was killed February 23, 2022, in Barryville, New York, when several 50- to 100-pound ground-protection mats he was stacking fell off an aerial-lift truck and landed on him.

Aaron Terpstra, 21, of Lake Huntington, N.Y., was working for a tree-trimming contractor for New York State Electric & Gas at the time of the incident. The mats are used for the trucks to drive or park on in muddy areas so as not to sink in.

Terpstra was stacking the mats after trimming trees when the fatal incident occurred. He was wearing a hard hat but went into cardiac arrest when he was pulled from under the mats.

Terpstra, who was a White Lake, N.Y., volunteer firefighter, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Mid-Hudson News report.

Man injured cutting fallen tree

A man was critically injured February 25, 2022, in Greene County, Tennessee, while trying to clear a fallen tree from a roadway.

Trey Youngblood, of Greene County, was cutting a tree that fell and lodged into another tree, blocking the roadway. The tree he was cutting “snapped back and caused blunt-force trauma to his chest and abdomen,” according to a Facebook post by his wife, as reported in The Greeneville Sun.

Youngblood was assessed at the scene by Greene County-Greeneville EMS and taken by Highlands Emergency Air Rescue helicopter to Johnson City Medical Center. He suffered serious injuries, underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition following the incident.

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