Friday, September 26, 2008

Falling palm tree kills 4yo boy

September 26, 2008

A falling palm tree has killed a four-year-old boy and left his father with head injuries in the far north Queensland tourist town of Port Douglas.

The boy and his father were walking along Owen Street when the tree fell and hit them about 2.30pm yesterday, police said.

The boy died at the scene.

"The child, who we believe was four years old, tragically died at the scene and the man has been transported to hospital suffering head injuries,'' Senior Sergeant Geoff Coote said.

"We are currently investigating the incident and a report will be prepared for the coroner.''

A police spokeswoman said the weather in the town was "extremely windy'' at the time, and the tree was near a footpath.

Cairns Regional Council will today send out experts to examine reamining palms, however local mayor Val Shiers said the offending tree had not been under the maintenance of regional authorities.

"Council arborists will go up to look at other palm trees in that area, but it's actually come from private property," Cr Shiers told 4BC radio.

"Council will do anything we can in terms of the prevention anything like this happening in the future, but our heartfelt condolences go out to the family."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Man killed in logging accident

CANTERBURY - New Brunswick health and safety officials are investigating a fatal logging accident in Canterbury.

Stanley English, 46, died Saturday after being struck by a tree limb.

Officials say English was cutting a tree when a dead limb caught in the tree's branches fell and hit him on the head. He was rushed to Saint John Regional Hospital but died later in the evening from head trauma.

Tuesday September 23rd, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Northern Wisconsin man killed in tree-cutting accident

9:29 AM CDT, September 22, 2008

TOMAHAWK, Wis. - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department says a 44-year-old logger died when a tree fell on his truck as he attempted to free a wedged chain saw.

Investigators say Randy Smith of Tomahawk was killed Saturday afternoon in rural Tomahawk.

The sheriff department says Smith was trying to cut down a tree when his chain saw became wedged in the tree. Investigators say he fastened the tree to his truck to try and dislodge the saw and the tree fell on the vehicle.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two killed during storm in Kentucky and Indiana

A utility worker from Florida helping Louisville Gas & Electric Co. restore power after Sunday's windstorm died last night of possible electrocution, Louisville Metro Police said.

The incident happened just after 8:30 p.m. in the 6600 block of Huff Lane in the Lake Dreamland area north of Pleasure Ridge Park, said police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley. The worker, who was described as being in his mid- to late 20s, was pronounced dead at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, she said.

Smiley said an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.

LG&E has 1,900 people working on the power restoration effort -- with 1,600 of them coming from out of town.

Calls to LG&E were not immediately returned last night.

The death is the fourth in the Louisville area attributed to the storm. The day it hit, 10-year-old Frederick Wilson of Shelby County died after being struck by a limb that broke off a tree in the wind. Another person in Clark County, Ind., was killed by a falling tree.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Studying Tree-Related Deaths at Kent State

It's hard to grasp, but true: Trees often become our mortal enemies in storms like the one Sunday that knocked out much of Ohio, a yet-unpublished study claims.

And punctuating a Kent State University professor's nationwide review of storm-related deaths from 1995 to 2007 is this more immediate, close-to-home fact: Five of the six deaths in Ohio from Sunday's freak storm have been from falling trees or branches.

"This incredible storm sadly illustrated what I've found: Trees are the real killer in more storms than most of us realize," said KSU's Tom Schmidlin, a geography professor and longtime meteorologist.

Tree-caused deaths in Ohio from Sunday, when the still potent Hurricane Ike roared far inland, included a 12-year-old Lorain boy hit by a falling branch as he was riding his bike.

In fact, the 56 deaths from the hurricane included a number of other tree-related deaths: two golfers in Tennessee, a man crushed in his motor home in Arkansas and a utility worker in Texas, among them.

Further, the Ohio deaths may qualify as the farthest inland ever recorded from trees downed by a hurricane, which was still blowing in sustained gusts of between 60 and 80 mph, Schmidlin said.

He will present his first-ever study of tree-related storm deaths Oct. 13 at the annual meeting of the National Weather Association in Louisville, Ky.

Among the findings:

• Some 407 people in the United States were killed by falling trees or limbs from 1995 to 2007 -- 41 percent of them in a thunderstorm and another 35 percent in high winds alone.

• The U.S. average for deaths from "wind thrown trees" is 1.45 per million people, about the same as Ohio (1.5 deaths per million).

• Mississippi has the highest average at 5.27 deaths per million, totaling 15 deaths by trees since 1995.

"And that's not counting Katrina -- because they haven't even determined cause of death in many cases," he said. He estimates that at least 15 people in Mississippi died from fallen trees in that 2005 hurricane.

Sunday's storm, which still has 6,500 people without power in Northeast Ohio, had arborists and weather watchers abuzz all week about the extent of the tree damage in Ohio.

Most agree that was caused by a number of related factors, including the time of year and fairly dry summer.

Because the storm hit in September -- not as a midwinter blizzard -- some trees on city and suburban lots became like sailboats. And they crashed.

Clement Hamilton, president and chief executive officer of the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, said the trees had started to shut down for the fall and winter and their roots were holding on a little less than normal. Then, recent rains weakened the soil around tree roots.

The result was that much of the state is still littered with fallen trees.

Schmidlin said he's hopeful that the devastation -- and his study -- will be a wake-up call.

"So, hopefully, we all become more aware of trimming dead wood, not planting trees as close to roadways -- and most importantly, taking cover."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Man killed by falling tree debris

A 55-year-old Prince Edward County man died Tuesday when he was hit by a piece of a tree he was felling.

Const. Nicole Lott of Prince Edward OPP said (David) Terry Williams was at the Cressey Apple Orchard on County Road 8 to cut wood for personal use.

As he was cutting a tree, a falling piece landed on him.

A post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death was held Wednesday at Quinte Health Care's Belleville hospital.

Man Killed By Tree Limb In Venango County

An Oil City man was killed Sunday evening when a large branch fell on him.

The Venango County Coroner tells KDKA that 46 year-old Brendan Beck was killed around 10 p.m.

Beck was working with his father-in-law's tree service company helping to remove a large tree from a house on Paul Revere Road in Oil City when a large gust of wind caused a branch from a nearby tree to fall on him.

Beck was holding a light on the tree the company was called to remove.

He died at the scene.

Fowler man killed while cutting down trees

A Fullerville Road man died Tuesday after being pinned between two trees while cutting firewood on his property.

James L. "Jim" Cole Sr., 61, of 115 Fullerville Road, was found not breathing by his wife, Clara A., who went out to look for him about an hour after he went into the woods to survey which trees he was going to cut down.

"He was not going out there to cut down trees," she said. "And it wasn't like him to be out there so long if he wasn't cutting trees. That's when I decided to go look for him."

It was a walk in the woods she said she had taken many times with the man she had been married to for nearly 43 years. The couple, who would have celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary in December, often worked as a team gathering firewood for their home.

"Usually, we would go out there together," she said.

Mrs. Cole found her husband around 2 p.m. pinned between a tree and the 55-foot ash he had been cutting down. Emergency crews were called but did not make attempts to revive him, state police said. An autopsy at E.J. Noble Hospital in Gouverneur by forensic pathologist Dr. Samuel A. Livingstone showed that Mr. Cole died because the pressure of the tree on his chest made it impossible for him to breathe.

The couple was married on New Year's Eve 1965 in Gouverneur's First United Methodist parsonage. They have two sons, James L. Jr. and Francis J., and two daughters, Teresa M. Bango and Margaret E. Fuller.

He was a heavy-equipment operator for Gouverneur Talc for five years. He previously worked six years for McGrath Industry in Clifton Park and at St. Joe Mineral Corp., Balmat, for 19 years.

Mrs. Cole said her husband enjoyed hunting and woodworking, but also loved the thing that took his life: cutting wood.

Tennessee golfers killed when tree lands on cart

Police said two men from Pleasant View, Tenn., were killed at Hermitage Golf Course in Hermitage, Tennessee after strong winds blew a tree onto their golf cart just before 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Jason Proffitt, 32, and Joseph Carter, 63, both died at the scene.

Police, firefighters and paramedics all arrived to try and save the two trapped golfers.

"As our people arrived on scene they reported two individuals trapped under a tree in a golf cart," said Nashville Fire Department Chief Ricky Taylor.

The golf course closed for the day shortly after the accident and is working with authorities.

The owner of the Hermitage Golf Course released a statement saying they were deeply saddened by what happened, and that their thoughts and prayers go out to the families.

Over on the Shelby Golf Course in east Nashville, the weather cut Wayne Savage's golf game short too but never did he think it was serious enough to cause harm. "Golf is not a game for when wind is real high," said Savage. Rain forced most golfers inside at Shelby.

Many were surprised that what seemed like simply a nuisance could cause such great loss.
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Woman killed in freak accident

Forensics expert Claire Bolton died after the 50ft ash smashed into her green Subaru Impreza as she drove down a country road near Hawkhurst, East Sussex, in January this year.

The 26-year-old, from Staplehurst in Kent, had no time to swerve and was killed instantly when one of the large branches broke through her windscreen, the hearing was told.

The tragedy occurred after heavy rains caused havoc across southern England earlier this year, the inquest at Hasting Magistrates' Court heard.

Giving evidence, Pc Mark Hill told how near the tree had fallen to Miss Bolton's son, who was strapped into the back of the car.

"The tree got to within an inch of the baby," he said. "It was extremely close."

Witness Keri Havens said the tree simply toppled, leaving Miss Bolton no time to get out of the way. "It was gusty and there was a bit of rain," she said. "The tree just came down smack on top of her car and made it bounce.

"The tree pushed it to the other side of the road. It all happened so fast the lady driving didn't even have time to break."

The inquest heard how the tree, which was on private property, was deemed healthy by tree surgeon Mark Cruttenden.

But forestry officer Andy Piper said the fall was caused by a build up of water surrounding the roots and heavy winds battering the tree.

Mr Piper, who works for East Sussex County Council carrying out tree inspections, said there was no way anyone could have predicted the tree would fall when it did, following heavy showers.

"The roots were waterlogged and with the gusting winds from the day before that had just come over, it would have been the wind that caused it," he said.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Alan Craze said: "It is the view I take that she had absolutely no chance.

"This has been described by witnesses as a freak accident. Nobody could have predicted that the tree would fall at the precise moment that Miss Bolton would have no chance of avoiding it.

"Thank God the baby was miraculously unharmed."

Miss Bolton's fiance and other members of her family fought back tears as details of her death emerged. Distraught, they refused to comment after the hearing.

A family friend said: "They still cannot come to terms with what happened. It was an absolute tragedy."

Kent Police, who employed Miss Bolton, paid tribute to the dead officer.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Croucher, former head of the forensic department, said: "Claire was an extremely valued and popular member of the forensic department where she worked as a performance analyst and she will be very sadly missed by all her colleagues.

"Prior to working in the forensic investigation department, Claire was a processing and administrative assistant in Ashford.

"All those who knew and worked with Claire are deeply distressed upon hearing the tragic news of her death and our thoughts remain with Claire's family."

Couple killed by tree mourned

In Butler County, 27,000 customers served by Duke Energy lacked power while fewer than 300 others served by the city of Hamilton and Butler Rural Electric Cooperative remained in the dark. Both of those utilities expect all customers to be back up today, Sept. 19. Late Thursday, more than 10,000 Duke customers in Warren County lacked power.

Duke Spokeswoman Kathy Meinke said progress has slowed as the company tackles more remote homes.

Butler County leaders Thursday called the storm eye-opening, and said emergency responders throughout the region should come together and discuss ways to prepare for such events.

Two of those killed in the storm were mourned Thursday. Several firefighters attended the visitation for Stephanie and Tom Bobinger, who died when a tree fell on them during Sunday's windstorm.

Stephanie Bobinger was the daughter of Fairfield Fire Chief Don Bennett and Marilyn Bennett.

"Us as parents, we expect to have to bury our own parents," said Jim Bell, Fairfield's parks and recreation. "But to have to deal with the loss of a child ... I don't know how to do that."

The Bobingers were on the last motorcycle exiting Hueston Woods during the annual Hero's Ride, which honored three fallen Iraq War veterans.

Three dead in Ohio

At least three people have been killed by fallen trees as the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through the state.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman Jason Fallon says two motorcyclists were killed Sunday when a tree toppled onto them in Hueston Woods State Park.

A woman in Mt. Healthy, Ohio, was also killed Sunday when a tree fell onto her southwest Ohio home.

Storm-force gusts ripped roofs from buildings and caused massive power outages throughout Ohio.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Montgomery County boy killed after tree limb falls on him

Sept. 12, 2008

A 10-year-old boy in southwest Montgomery County died this morning after a tree limb fell on him, authorities said.

The boy's parents were cutting down a tree at their home in the 1800 block of Coe Road, west of Texas 249, when the accident happened shortly before 9 a.m., Montgomery County officials said.

The boy, Joel Smith, was a fifth-grader, said Richard Jennings, pastor of River of Praise, a nondenominational church in Tomball.

Authorities believe the parents were possibly removing the tree in preparation for Hurricane Ike.

An ambulance took the boy to Tomball Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, officials said.

Man killed in tree-trimming accident

A 58-year-old Shawnee man was killed Tuesday when he was crushed by a branch from a tree he was trimming.

Michael W. King, who lived on three acres in the 12900 block of 55th Street, had eaten dinner with friends Monday evening, telling them he planned to trim a tree overhanging a detached garage so it could be reroofed.

When the friend couldn’t get in touch with King by phone on Tuesday, he went to the King’s house, unable to find him though his truck was still there. The friend went to the police, who searched the property around 11 p.m. Tuesday and found King dead near the garage.

Capt. Ron Copeland said it appears that in the course of trimming the tree, a limb fell on King and killed him.