Local News

Cary man dies after fall from tree

Posted September 8, 2013

— A Cary man died Saturday after falling out of a tree in Raleigh, police said.

Raleigh police said Sunday that Robert William Kearns, 26, was demonstrating a climb for his friends when he fell from the tree in the 1100 block of Kent Road. A witness said he was about 30 feet up when he slipped from his harness. 

Hope King, the mother of Kearns' 5-year-old son, said Kearns was a tree cutter for Leaf and Limb Tree Service in Raleigh. She said he loved to show others what he could do in a tree.

"(My son) said he was Spiderman. He thought his dad was Spiderman because his dad could climb like that," King said. 

But, she said, Kearns was always very careful. 

Robert William Kearns Fall from tree kills Cary father

"He said that he always felt like he was going to fall and get hurt," King said. "He always said that to me."

Kearns loved the job, loved the rush and loved his son, King said. In recent months, he had begun turning his life around and trying to become a better father.

"My son just saw him last week and they went to lunch with my mom," she said. "They held hands and prayed together."


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  • hopemorningstar Sep 10, 2013

    I was his girlfriend and the mother of our son. I miss you so bad babe I cant eat I cant sleep. How can you be taken from me and Taylor we loved u so much and things were going sooo good with all of us. You prayed with taylor and asked jesus into your heart. Your in heaven i need u though to protect us. Bobby I am so devastated. I can't find comfort in anything. I know how much u loved and adored me and Taylor. I love you babe with all my heart. I'm wearing your shirt, it still smells like you. My heart is broken in pieces.RIP i love you

  • wgerardi Sep 9, 2013

    So sad. Bobby was a great dude and always really laid back and easy to talk to. He will be greatly missed.

  • nftuttle Sep 9, 2013

    He unhooked his lanyerd and slipped before he was able to hook it back.
    I doubt he came out of the harness though.His equipment was fine. Bobby was a great guy and loved his son very much, he was a good dad. He'll be missed by many, and always remembered. RIP Buddy!

  • bombayrunner Sep 9, 2013

    totally sad news

  • geoherb1 Sep 9, 2013

    OSHA investigates work-related accidents. Once it determines that this accident happened outside of the victim's work duties, it doesn't have jurisdiction.

  • lokitzl Sep 9, 2013

    How truly said this is. My heart goes out to this family. To loose someone so young is a heartbreak.
    I wish the family and friends my sympathy. May they find peace in his memory.

  • irishgirlsarepretty Sep 9, 2013

    How sad :(

  • LovemyPirates Sep 9, 2013

    albegadeep - His death wasn't a crime and occurred during personal time; who would conduct an investigation to determine these details?

  • NoObamaCare Sep 9, 2013

    Though not job related...guessing OSHA will be all over this to check this equipment and see if any upgrades can or will be made to prevent another tragedy. God works in mysterious ways sometimes.

  • CB123 Sep 9, 2013

    Tree work isn't dangerous, it's hazardous. The job is made safe by using the proper tools and equipment.