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Another fatality: Arborist found dead while hanging near Walhalla

pdqdl

pdqdl

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I stumbled across this on the local news.

http://www.kctv5.com/story/32368598...t-found-dead-while-hanging-near-walhalla-home

From what I can gather in the very limited news report, this guy was working by himself and died from suspension injury after being knocked out. Others might find a better report or know more about this.

Really guys. Quit working by yourself. If nothing else bring your wife/girl friend/children along just to call the rescue team.
 
derwoodii

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The coroner identified the victim as David Wayne Vaughn, 57, of Walhalla.

57 yold and 70 foot up impressive, foolish but impressive,,, hope he went peacefully & as he might hoped too meet his end,, up a tree.

its hard to tell but dont look to be 70 foot grove of trees,, still 70 or 7 foot up loss of consciousness upside down alone & i think much depends but you got 5 to 30 minutes before kaput..

10911050_G.jpg
 

Del_

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http://dripline.net/arborist-found-dead-tree-70-feet/


Arborist found dead in a tree 70 feet up
July 4, 2016July 5, 2016 thedutchone 0 Comments rescued, struck by, trapped, tree care professional, working alone

Oconee County, SC — 57 year old David Wayne Vaughn was found dead up a tree suspended in his climbing harness. Vaughn was a self-employed arborist, who was trimming and cutting down a tree on private property. He arrived at the house at 8 a.m. to begin work on the tree. The homeowners walked outside to check on Vaughn when they didn’t hear the sound of sawing for awhile. The Pickett Post-Camp Oak Fire Department was called just after 1 p.m. to rescue Vaughn from the tree. Rescuers found they could not reach Vaughn via the ladder truck, so they set up a high-angle rope system. Once they reached him it was determined that Vaughn was dead. He was then lowered to the ground.

UPDATE: According to an autopsy conducted on Tuesday, Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis called the death accidental caused by positional asphyxiation. Vaughn had got his upper leg trapped in the fork of the tree he was up. He also received a minor head injury, probably from a falling limb. The homeowner had called 911 around 1pm to tell authorities that Vaughn had got his upper leg caught in the fork of the tree. Vaughn worked for about an hour to free himself from the tree. He did manage to remove his spikes and eventually free his leg. He had planned to lower himself out of the tree, but according to the homeowners eyewitness account, Vaughn became disoriented and then became unresponsive. Coroner Karl Addis then added in his report that Vaughn’s body arched back into a slightly inverted position, compromising his ability to breathe. Addis also said that the minor head injury along with Vaughn’s dehydration affected his ability to rescue himself. Vaughn was working alone on the property at the time of the accident.
 
ropensaddle

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The coroner identified the victim as David Wayne Vaughn, 57, of Walhalla.

57 yold and 70 foot up impressive, foolish but impressive,,, hope he went peacefully & as he might hoped too meet his end,, up a tree.

its hard to tell but dont look to be 70 foot grove of trees,, still 70 or 7 foot up loss of consciousness upside down alone & i think much depends but you got 5 to 30 minutes before kaput..

View attachment 512184
I'm 54 and up 112 foot in 98 degrees am I foolish? Rip condolences to the family.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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I'm 54 and up 112 foot in 98 degrees am I foolish? Rip condolences to the family.
Many folks regard all tree trimmers to be foolish. You don't work without any groundmen or anyone to watch do you?

If so, perhaps you might wish to think of some way to get some emergency assistance. I am a bit older than you, and certainly don't work as high or hard as you do, but I ALWAYS have someone on the ground that can call for help.

Besides, I know you love that raptor, and the height you are working at is kind of unimportant unless you happen to be hoisting your whole weight all the way from the ground up.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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The coroner identified the victim as David Wayne Vaughn, 57, of Walhalla.

57 yold and 70 foot up impressive, foolish but impressive,,, hope he went peacefully & as he might hoped too meet his end,, up a tree.

its hard to tell but dont look to be 70 foot grove of trees,, still 70 or 7 foot up loss of consciousness upside down alone & i think much depends but you got 5 to 30 minutes before kaput..

View attachment 512184
The only foolish aspect of his tree work is working alone. On that account, I will agree with you.

One of the finest climbers I have met was about 76 years old. Believe me, he knew how to do the work, and he didn't lack the strength or stamina to do it. I don't know how old he is now, but I think he still does some climbing, although he has slowed down a bit. I'm pretty sure he is over 80 by now. He is, by the way, one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met. I have great respect for him, not just his talent in a tree.
 
ropensaddle

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Many folks regard all tree trimmers to be foolish. You don't work without any groundmen or anyone to watch do you?

If so, perhaps you might wish to think of some way to get some emergency assistance. I am a bit older than you, and certainly don't work as high or hard as you do, but I ALWAYS have someone on the ground that can call for help.

Besides, I know you love that raptor, and the height you are working at is kind of unimportant unless you happen to be hoisting your whole weight all the way from the ground up.
I have always said 20 feet if you fall your just as dead as 100. It can be more fatiguing in the tall timber. Yeah after 29 years or so of body thrust, the wraptor and hass etc was money well spent. I however find it a tad harder to shed the gut in springtime, by using them!!
 
Huskybill

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We were taught in a fall you have the first two feet to do something after that gravity and speed take over.

He was hanging did a large limb crush him?

RIP brother. May god take you down the path.

The national timber Fellers Association says ask yourself is what I’m about to do safe?
 
blades

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leg caught in fork- man that's one hard one to self correct depending positioning and if anything you can get a grab on to pull back to it if possible . Got pants leg caught once rest of me hanging below it semi horizontal, couldn't go up or down nothing much to grab ended up shedding my pants to get free enough to correct situation . scary
 
CacaoBoy

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leg caught in fork- man that's one hard one to self correct
I'm never going to do any serious climbing, and I am in awe of those who do. I can appreciate that this guy would want to work without a ground crew to avoid splitting payment for the job. And with the homeowner on site, there was some measure of safety. Since the article reports "Vaughn worked for about an hour to free himself from the tree" it sounds like the homeowner was aware of the problem for an hour before calling 911, and the homeowner and Vaughn presumably were able to communicate during that time.

A question for those of you who climb alone: Do you have any kind of mutual aid agreement with a buddy who climbs, that if one of you gets in trouble you can call the other and that person will drop whatever is going on and come to the aid of of the one in distress?

Are fire departments really trained and equipped to conduct rescues from tall trees, or by the time they get set up are they more likely to be doing a body recovery as in this case? If you were in trouble while up a tree (but not at risk of bleeding out), would you prefer to have the fire department respond or another climber?
 
pdqdl

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I would guess that aerial rescue is outside the talent & training of the average fire department across the country. Larger cities probably all have that nicely covered, and are probably prepared to travel a ways upon request.

I did a pretty simple climb for a GTG down in Arkansas one time. It wasn't at all tricky, but I had already determined that anything resembling a rescue was many hours away. So I took extra time taking measures to make sure that my "groundmen" were trained & equipped to lower me out of the tree if something went south. I'm pretty sure they questioned my talent set, given my over-cautious approach. For me, it was just a case of knowing that if I screwed up in any way, nobody was going to be able to save me. So I made sure that I didn't.

In response to your question? I suspect I would prefer a well qualified climber. Let 'em run up the tree and get me. Any decent climber knows how to lower a 300 log without wasting a lot of time. If I was caught up in some limbs that broke or fell badly, I'm certain a real tree climber with a sharp 200T would be the guy to have in the tree. I can just see a fireman on a ladder trying to get the job done with a 14" diameter rescue saw.
 
pdqdl

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Technique is more important to go up the tree with than a bunch of extra gear. In a pinch, I could lower a man (or myself) safely with nothing more than a carabiner & a munter hitch.

My regular equipment includes a bunch of loopies & 'biners clipped to a rescue-8. The purpose is to have organized tools when I want them. It's incidental that the rescue-8 doubles as a belay device in case I need to rig out something from above with extra friction.

 
Huskybill

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Things can go wrong so quickly. I block out everything in my mind and stay focused on the task at hand. Never work alone.
 
CLASSIIILVR

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HAD SIMILAR HAPPENED TO ME BUT I WAS LUCKY I WAS YOUNG AND SOLID AS A ROCK AND....THAT WHEN I DID A MONSTER SIT UP THERE WAS A LIMB TO GRAB AND KEEP ME MOSTLY UP RIGHT TO GET MYSELF OUT OF THE CROOK. MAN THAT JUST STINKS....SOME THING SO...RANDOM AND NOBODY AROUND TO HEAR HIM HOLLAR FOR HELP!

GOD BLESS THE FAMILY HE LEFT BEHIND!
 
Huskybill

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I did firewood in the forest. No climbing but a hung up perfectly standing tree almost got me I wasn’t looking up to see where the top limbs in the vee where it separated were. I was going animal cutting 4’ sections out of a large trunk and the vee finally showed up. My vision was blocked by branches and other trees. The vee was a large sling shot vee. I seen it quick enough to know I’m in trouble. I stepped back and shut the saw off. I held the saw straight down so the tree couldn’t catch it when it fell. I prayed the vee didn’t twist when it fell. I got lucky I was in the center of the opening of the vee when it crashed down. I was getting cocky dropping trees it was a wake up call.
 
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