Tree climber dies after being struck by a treetop attached to a crane

UPDATE 8/18/19 – The victim has been identified as 42-year-old Robin Ruel Jr.

Lakewood, WA – An unidentified tree climber died while trying to remove a dead Douglas Fir tree on Saturday. The accident happened around noon in a heavily forested residential area.

According to West Pierce Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Hallie McCurdy, the man was working about 50 feet up a 90-foot tree at the time. The top half of the tree was attached to a crane.

When the worker cut through the top 40-foot section of the tree, it swung back toward him and pinned him against the trunk of the tree he was attached too.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Fire crews brought his body down to ground level.

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