Man killed in wood-chipper accident

The Anaheim resident was working with a tree-trimming crew in Tustin. He was throwing branches into the machine one moment, authorities say, and then suddenly 'he was gone.'

By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
10:15 AM PST, November 8, 2007

Authorities in Orange County are working to recover the remains of a 24-year-old Anaheim man who was killed Wednesday in a wood chipper accident in Tustin.

The tree service worker "was standing at the back end of the chipper, throwing branches into it with his co-workers nearby," said Sgt. Pat Welch of the Tustin Police Department.

"One of them looked over, and he was gone."

Authorities took the wood chipper and the truck attached to it to a parking structure at the coroner's office, where they plan to dismantle it.

The accident, which happened about 4 p.m. in the 2600 block of Palmetto Avenue in Tustin, is being investigated by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, authorities said.

The man's name was being withheld until his family was notified.

"We'll just be trying to gather as much of the remains as we can," said Supervising Deputy Coroner Larry Esslinger.

Thirty-one people have been killed in wood chipper accidents between 1992 and 2002, according to a 2005 Journal of the American Medical Assn. report.