Local News

Cary man killed by tree

Posted August 25, 2009
Updated August 26, 2009

— A tree fell on a man in Cary Tuesday night, killing him.

Adam Young Hughes, 39, was cutting down an old, rotten tree at his 1816 Tarbert Drive home when the tree fell on him, police said.

His girlfriend called 911 dispatch for help, but Hughes died before EMS units could arrive, police said.

He was working alone in the yard when the tree fell at about 5:30 p.m.

Hughes was a civil engineer who inspected bridges for a private engineering firm, police said.


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  • IzzMad2016 Aug 26, 2009

    Very sad....condolences to this mans family and friends.

    I don't know who everyone else has used to have trees cut down, but we used a family-owned company located on Green Level Road about 8 years ago to cut down 5 trees (1 105 ft walnut, 2 70 ft sweet gums, 1 dead pine and 1 half dead poplar)and ground out the stumps for $950. They sold the wood on the other end which helped keep prices low.

  • shortcake53 Aug 26, 2009

    We had a dead tree in our yard and it cost a small fortune to have it taken down, maybe he was trying to save some money by doing it himself. My heart goes out to his family.

  • weathergeek Aug 26, 2009

    N and O article estimates the tree at 25 feet

  • weathergeek Aug 26, 2009

    "a VERY large limb could have broken off at the top and hit him"

    I'm told it was a tree that had been dead a while so there were no branches. It was about 35 ft. high...the type of tree I probably would have tried by myself too thinking it would be no problem.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 26, 2009

    We really don't know what happened. He could have been cutting the tree down at the bottom of the trunk, and a VERY large limb could have broken off at the top and hit him. We just don't know.

  • Travised Aug 26, 2009

    Sad incident, but it happens. The most dangerous cut is the "widow-maker" as it is called. NOT one I like to see done. Three slice cut that jumps back on you, hence the name. And the area it jumps back tended to injure saw handlers there or strike the head even.

    If people don't survey the lay of the land and the tree properly it won't fall right. Many cut alone without problems.

    The headline is misleading. The operator killed himself sadly by not watching out.

    I hope his family and friends can recover from this tragic accident.

  • Professor Aug 26, 2009

    Know what you are doing when cutting down a tree. Have someone to help you are get a professional. This was dangerous. My condolences to the family.

  • weathergeek Aug 26, 2009

    yikes...it's good to read what y'all wrote...I would have thought a dead tree would have been easier to take down.

  • Jack Flash Aug 26, 2009

    After the fact, it's easy to point out X, Y, and Z about chainsaw safety and sleeo a little easier believing we'd never make this same mistake, but the truth is that tons of people cut down trees successfully by themselves every day and many other follow all safety precautions and still get seriously hurt or killed. Lots of activities are like that: there are ways of minimizing risks, but there are risks nonetheless and understandable gambles that usually work out.

  • meh2 Aug 26, 2009

    Rotten trees are very dangerous. I have had some close calls with them, but always had an escape route ready. I had one pinch my big saw last fall, fortunately my small saw was able to finish the job, but it was touch and go. Saw a little, check, saw some more, run.

    I have 40 years experience sawing and I know that every takedown is potentially a dangerous operation. Even the most experience feller can get caught out - trees are extremely heavy and wood is not a uniform material.

    Thoughts and prayers to his family - that is a tough way to go, and he was way too young.