• Man felling tree in Lakewood killed when top half of 90-foot tree pins him

    By: Craig Sailor, The News Tribune


    LAKEWOOD, Wash. - A tree service worker was killed Saturday afternoon while trying to fell a dead tree in Lakewood, authorities and neighbors said.

    The accident occurred about noon in the 11300 block of Tower Road Southwest, a residential area that is heavily forested.

    The man, later identified by the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office as Robin Ruel Jr., 42, was working about 50 feet up a 90-foot tree at the time, according to West Pierce Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Hallie McCurdy. The top half of the tree was attached to a crane.

    When the worker severed the top 40-foot section of the tree, it swung back toward him and pinned him against the still-standing section to which he was attached.

    The man was pronounced dead on scene. Fire crews brought his body down to ground level.

    The medical examiner's office is still determining Ruel's cause of death.

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