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Tree trimmer killed in accident with wood chipper

Industry News

Concord man died after being thrown by chipper and striking his head.

Contra Costa Times (Calif.) | November 22, 2010

CONCORD, Calif. – A tree trimmer was killed Monday, Nov. 15 when a climbing rope he was using became caught in a wood chipper and he was thrown, striking his head, police and his employer said.

The victim was identified as 33-year-old Antonio Barajas, an employee of Traverso Tree Service in Walnut Creek.

"It was a freak accident,' said John Traverso, owner of the tree service company.

Barajas was working in a team of about eight workers at the end of the short Snowberry Court, near Cowell and Ygnacio Valley roads, at 1:30 p.m., Concord police Sgt. Robert Brady said.

"He was one of the guys who was feeding trees into the trimmer (on the ground)," Brady said. "It appears he got caught in a rope that got caught in the machine."

Traverso said Barajas was thrown into the air at high velocity and struck his head on the safety bar of the chipper.

He described Barajas, who had worked for his company for more than seven years, as a soccer fan and hard worker.

"He was a wonderful person, a church-going guy," Traverso said. "He has an 8-month-old son and a beautiful wife. I went to his wedding."

Cal/OSHA is investigating the death. Traverso said he has already begun to plan for a safety seminar for all of his employees in light of Barajas' death.
 

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