COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Emergency officials say a 47-year-old man was killed after a large tree fell on a mini-excavator near Cottageville.
Officials with Colleton County Fire-Rescue said it happened on the 2500 block of Bama Road east of Cottageville on Wednesday afternoon.
A report states that the man was found at 4:17 p.m. When crews got to the scene they found the excavator pinned under the tree, and the cab was crushed with the operator trapped inside.
“The tree came to rest on top of the excavator and a nearby shed,” CCFR officials said. “It appeared the operator was attempting to remove the tree.”
Firefighter-Paramedics determined the man had no signs of life and notified the coroner’s office.
Fire-Rescue crews said they contacted the County Roads and Bridges Department who sent several employees and a track hoe to the scene.
“Firefighter-Paramedics in the meantime used chain saws to cut away limbs from the tree,” CCFR officials said. “Once Roads and Bridges crews arrived the track hoe easily picked up the tree and removed it from the mini-excavator.”
An incident report states that firefighters then used Holmatro Rescue Tools to cutaway portions of the cab to free the operator.
The coroner’s office transported the operator from the scene.
“Cottageville Police opened the Town Hall to provide a more comfortable location for the family members to assemble,” CCFR officials said. “Emergency crews were on the scene for 3-1/2 hours.”