2010-06-27 / News

Park worker survives being hit by tree

HADLEY TWP. — A State Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment employee is recovering at home after being hit in the face with a tree June 15 at the Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area.

Park Manager Dennis Wilson, who declined to identify the man, said Wednesday “he’s doing a lot better. He’s out of hospital, thankfully.” He did say the worker is expected to make a full recovery.

Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Craig Miller said the 30-year-old man was pushing a tree out of a park roadway that was still attached to the ground just before noon June 15 when the tree slipped off the tractor’s front forks. The eight-inch diameter tree swept across the top of the tractor, hit the machine’s roll bar and slapped the man in the face.

“There is no doubt the roll bar on the tractor saved him from further injury or death,” said Miller. He said several campers came to the man’s aid.

Prior to first responders from the Hadley Township Fire Department and Lapeer County EMS crews arriving, park employees told Central Dispatch the man was coughing up blood and going in and out of consciousness.

Miller said the man suffered head injuries, including lacerations, loss of teeth, and disorientation.

“He looked like he’d been through a battle,” said Wilson.

Rescue workers used a chain saw to clear away the tree and had the man off the John Deere by 12:37 p.m. and on his way to the hospital. Firefighters on scene said the man was alert before he left the park grounds.

Wilson said the man is currently “at home with his family and improving every day.”

— Phil Foley

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