From 'The Foxboro Reporter', Foxboro, MA. Sounds like the trunk he was harnessed to split right up and the parting sections compressed him in the lanyard loop.
NEWS UPDATE: Man rescued by firefighters dies in hospital
By Stephen Peterson and Matt Kakley
Published: Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:33 AM EDT
A Walpole man severely injured over the weekend in a tree-cutting accident died of his injuries Wednesday in a Boston hospital.
John D. Robbins, 40, died in Brigham and Women's Hospital Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said. The news of his death came after this week's Foxboro Reporter had already gone to press.
Robbins had been listed in critical condition after he was hurt Sunday afternoon while cutting the top portion of a tree in the backyard of 14 Pine Acres Road in Foxboro.
Robbins was on a harness about 25 feet in the air when the bottom portion of the tree split, fire officials said. He was pressed up against the tree, knocked unconscious, suffered crushing-type injuries and was in cardiac arrest when firefighters arrived, officials said.
In a perilous 15-minute rescue, firefighters using ladders were able to tie a rope to the man's harness, then lift him off the tree and slowly lower him to the ground.
While being taken to Caritas Norwood Hospital with a police escort through Patriots game traffic, Foxboro rescue personnel were able to revive Robbins' pulse. He was later flown by medical helicopter to the Boston hospital.
Fire Capt. David Healy said Robbins was unconscious and in cardiac arrest when firefighters arrived at the scene about 1:30 p.m.
Despite the precarious nature of the tree, two firefighters went up on ladders to tend to the man, who was about 25 feet off the ground, Healy said.
Firefighters were able to tie a rope to the man's harness then lift him off the tree and slowly lower him to the ground. Once on the ground, firefighters began tending to the man, but while they were doing so a portion of the tree fell and narrowly avoided hitting firefighters and the victim.
Healy said an initial call for a medical helicopter was canceled. Because of the man's cardiac arrest, firefighters elected to bring him by ambulance to Norwood Hospital.
En route to the hospital, rescuers, who were given a police escort and weren't hampered by Patriots game traffic, were able to revive the man's pulse.
Once at the hospital, a medical helicopter was again called and the victim was airlifted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
A veteran of the department, Healy said Sunday's rescue was one of the most dangerous he's seen.
"Due to the stability of the tree and the height (the man) was at ... it posed a great deal of risk," Healy said.
He praised the work of police and firefighters, including two who are members of a regional technical rescue team, with quickly getting the man safely down from the tree and to the hospital.
"They did a really remarkable job in the face of what we were up against," he said.