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Hunt Club Member Died When Struck by the Top of the Tree He Had Felled

Michigan Case Report: 13MI197

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


In fall 2013, a male hunt club member in his 70s died when the top portion of a tree he had felled broke off and came back toward him, striking his head/face. The tree diameter was estimated at six to eight inches. The height of the tree was unknown. The decedent was not wearing any personal protective equipment. The decedent started his generator in the back of his pickup that was parked approximately six feet from a two-track road to power his Craftsman 16-inch, 3.5 HP electric chainsaw. Police pictures show that the tree fell directly toward another tree. As it was falling, the top portion of the tree broke away, presumably when the top of the tree struck the tree in its path, and came back toward him and struck his head. The actions of the decedent just prior to being struck by the top of the tree were unknown. After placing a deer camera, a hunt club member who had spoken with the decedent approximately 10 minutes earlier, came back down the two-track but did not see him. He went to look for him and saw the decedent lying on his back near the stump of the tree he had just felled. He called for emergency response. The Medical Examiner arrived and declared him dead.

Hunt Club Member Died When Struck by the Top of the Tree He Had Felled [PDF 148 KB]