Deputies Release Identity of Man Killed in Freak Accident - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/14/07 - East Texas

Deputies Release Identity of Man Killed in Freak Accident

by Ramonica R. Jones

Angelina County investigators have released the identity of a man who died after a tree fell on him Wednesday.

Thirty-four year-old Caiole Larson was killed in his backyard. He was removing trees around his home near the Angelina County Airport when the top of a falling oak tree hit him in the head.

Larson died at the scene from head trauma. His wife and three young kids were at home when the accident happened.

The trees in East Texas stand tall, but a lot of the pines and oaks in Angelina County yards will have to come down. Removing rotting, leaning and damaged trees can be a dangerous task, especially for someone who's not trained for the job.

Doug Erbey has cut down trees around his home before, but this time he's leaving it to the professionals, that's because the tree that was removed Thursday was surrounded by power lines. He'd rather spend the money to make sure the job will be done safely, and done right.

"They know what to cut and where to cut and how to get it down and get it on the ground safely, and that way [I am] not at risk for getting injured," said Erbey. "Of course, that's the main factor, we don't want anybody getting injured."

Do-it-yourself tree removal jobs could also end up damaging other trees, your property or even worse, cause you or a family member to get hurt. Another common mistake is using a ladder to climb trees. Falling limbs and branches can hit the ladder, knocking it from underneath you.

Angelina Tree Works owner, Shaun Elliott, said, "If you don't know how to cut it correctly at the ground, it can turn and break on you; fall in the opposite direction you want it to fall. It can actually split up the trunk of the tree."

And the signs of rotting are not always obvious. It often takes an expert to know how damaged a tree really is.

[There may be] fungus on the side of the tree where it's actually rotting the wood," said Elliott. "You can't tell that it's rotting in the middle until you cut into it."

Despite the danger and amount of work involved, most professional jobs are not expensive at all. Just knowing the tree removal around your home will be taken care of by a well-equipped team of experts is worth the extra cost.

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