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Man's death in tree appears accidental, Wake investigators say

Posted July 16, 2012

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— Wake County authorities say they believe the death of a man found in a tree Monday morning was accidental.

Emergency workers were called to a home at 7316 Westworth Drive in Willow Spring, where they found the man, who appeared to have been cutting limbs from the tree.

Authorities, however, are still investigating. They did not say how long the man might have been in the tree or how high up he might have been.

The home's owners, Thomas and Carol McCartney, were out of town Monday but told WRAL News over the phone that they had hired the local contractor to cut down a tree.

Neighbors said they heard him mid-morning cutting limbs.

Investigators have told them very little about what might have happened, they said.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office has not said what might have happened and have not released the man's name.

Friends and family of the man, however, gathered at the scene Monday morning. They said he had a wife and four children.

"It's horrible," neighbor Beverly Gelvin said. "With this heat and the wind – the trees are coming down. There's such a possibility for accidents and it’s horrible whenever it happens."

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  • bassplayer4dalord Jul 26, 2012

    actually the article says he was found "in" a tree, not under one, at the base of one, but in a tree. Likely this man climbed the tree to limb it up so as to bring the trunk down in sections, and somehow died. There HAD to be a crew around, as this kind of work is impossible to do alone. The contractor should be checking his job sites. There is probably a good chance the crew was illegal, and they left him to avoid any discussions with the police that might reveal such. A huge tragedy for this family...

  • KIDDZA Jul 24, 2012

    The man died from a falling tree not a heart attack.
    The man left behind a wife and four children.
    I seriously doubt that tree cutter thought his life was in danger when he took this job. Prayers and thoughts for the family...and the silly commenters with lack of sense & compassion for a grieving family.

  • kgbkgb1967 Jul 19, 2012

    Some people are in such a hurry to post their ignorant comments, they don't bother to properly read the article:

    The home's owners, Thomas and Carol McCartney, were out of town Monday but told WRAL News over the phone that they had hired the local contractor to cut down a tree.

    In response to:
    The homeowners didn't know he was cutting trees on their property?

    How odd.

    Praying for those who loved him.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 18, 2012

    lessismore - "Very physical work climbing and cutting trees for a living."

    That's a job best left to professionals, and even they, with years of experience, sometimes have accidents.

    What some don't know is that trees don't always grow with a straight grain. Some, due to environmental factors, etc., grow with twisted or curved grains which means even if you have them notched correctly, they don't come down where you thought they would.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 18, 2012

    The homeowners didn't know he was cutting trees on their property?

    How odd.

    Praying for those who loved him.

  • CrewMax Jul 17, 2012

    I can't believe he was doing that work alone. I offer my condolences to his family.

  • lessismore Jul 17, 2012

    Most likely a heart attack. Very physical work climbing and cutting trees for a living.

  • Malaki Jul 16, 2012

    The video appeared to show him in the tree. So sad for the family.

  • Scubagirl Jul 16, 2012

    so he died IN the tree, or was killed by the tree falling. Thought the tv said the latter.

  • silverwomon Jul 16, 2012

    Though we don't know what might have happened it seems this man was operating a chain saw by himself which is never a good idea. So sorry for this man and his family. What a tragic news day it has been today...