Tree trimmer killed while operating wood chipper

September 28th, 2010 by Staff

A tree trimmer died while working with a wood chipper in Tampa on Saturday afternoon.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said they pronounced Miguel Vargas, 44, dead on the scene around 3:30 p.m.

Vargas was working with four other crew members from the Dwayne Wilson Tree Service at 12911 Golf Crest Trail.

According to deputies, Vargas was at the rear of the wood chipper and was feeding bundles of tree branches into the chipper when he became entangled in a rope that was wrapped in the tree branches.

Deputies say Vargas died from fatal injuries caused by the force of the rope pulling against him. He was not pulled into the wood chipper.

“The rope had entangled around his body as the force, the weight of that machine pulling that rope against him, and him getting wedged up against the trimmer, that excessive force just basically crushed him and killed him,” Deputy Larry McKinnon of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

The accident happened so quickly, that none of Vargas’ co-workers even had time to try and save him, according to deputies.

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