Friday, September 19, 2008

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.

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