The 30-year-old man struck by a falling tree along State Route 128 is “responsive and undergoing further tests” at a Santa Rosa area hospital.
Caltrans District 1 Public Information Officer Manny Machado told us the worker was injured last Saturday, March 11, 2023, as an “employee of a contractor working on a Caltrans tree hazard project.” The workplace injury is “under investigation”, Machado confirmed.
Anderson Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief Angela Dewitt told us the injury happened after a tree he was cutting “barber chaired” meaning the trunk split vertically, hinged overhead, and struck him. His injuries required advanced life support used to support breathing and circulation.
Scanner traffic indicated the Incident Commander’s initial requests for an air ambulance were denied after Calstar pilots reported they could not fly due to mechanical issues.
The incident is all too common within the logging industry. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics describes the working conditions of loggers and tree fallers as “unique among all other occupations characterized by strenuous work, long hours, seasonal employment, and some of the most hazardous conditions in the workforce.”