I have been noticing a lot of accidental deaths by way of trees in the news lately, so I rounded them up for the last 6 months. Coincidentally, a grave marker in the shape of a truncated tree stump symbolizes a life cut short. We begin with a most dramatic account:
Lynda Collins, a 45-year-old wife and mother of 3, was walking home in Dublin, Ireland, on 2/3/11 when the 100mph winds felled a tree which pinned her to the ground. A witness describes what he saw before paramedics arrived and tried in vain to save her life on the way to the hospital: "I ran outside and people were starting to run away. There was a car that the tree had landed on that was trying to back away. Then they realized that somebody was actually under the tree. I mean it landed on this girl. Everybody came running from all over trying to hold the tree in place and comfort the girl. It was a matter of trying to make sure the weight wasn't crushing her. It was too big for anybody to move and they were just trying to hold it in place."Gayle Falgoust, a 70-year-old Alabama resident, was killed instantly when a tree fell during a storm on 12/29/10 as she read and relaxed in a luxury platform tent with her granddaughter at a nature preserve in California (2nd image).
Jalisa Granger, 24, died protecting her toddler son from a tornado that struck their Louisiana town on 3/5/11, sending a tree crashing down on their house and destroying 100 other homes (3rd image).
John Larson, 55-year-old resident of Maine, was killed on 11/23/11 when the base of the 40' tree he was cutting down with a chainsaw snapped and hit him in the head. Larson was pronounced dead at the scene.Mallori Kastner, an 18-year-old Northern Indiana University freshman, was killed when the rotted tree that was supporting the hammock on which she sat with a friend collapsed on 9/20/10.
McKinley Martin, a Mississippi logger, was killed on the job on 1/8/11 - his 39th birthday - when a tree on which the crew had not been working fell on him from behind while he was eating his lunch.
Frank Meager, 33, of Minnesota, was killed in Iowa on 2/11/11 when a tree he was cutting down fell on him. Officials say Meager was a subcontractor working to clear the right-of-way for a pipeline company.
Elmaz Qyra, a 46-year-old Brooklyn man, was walking in Central Park on 2/25/10 when a heavy branch weighted with snow broke off from an estimated height of 80' and struck him on the head (1st image).
Tad James Reid, 47-year-old father of 2 teenagers, was pronounced dead on his Washington State property on 3/5/10 when he was found pinned beneath a maple tree he was cutting down.
Billy "Bud" Rhynalds, 66-year-old veteran employee of the Washington State Department of Transportation, was placing safety cones on Highway 203 to warn of power lines downed by a 1/15/11 storm when a tree fell on his truck, striking him fatally in the back of the head.
David A. Sheldon, 57, died in Oregon on 12/14/10 when high winds brought down a tree on the van in which he was sleeping.
Diane Walker, a 55-year-old resident of Washington State, was killed in her sleep on 12/14/10 when a tree came down on her mobile home during a storm, though her friend and adult son were unhurt.
This does not include the unidentified men killed by trees in Iowa on 11/18/10, Northern Territory, Australia, on 12/3/10, New Jersey on 12/8/10, Washington, D.C., on 1/26/11, New South Wales, Australia, on 2/4/11, Staffordshire, England, on 3/2/11, and Surrey, Canada, on 3/2/11. It also does not include auto fatalities that resulted from collisions with trees. Be careful out there.