Photo courtesy Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office
A feller-buncher lies toppled following an attempt to cut a large white fir on a 20-degree slope.
By Joe Napolitan
At approximately 7:20 p.m. on Monday June 7, the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) received a page concerning a logging accident on private property off County Road 382, according to an incident report provided by the agency.
The report indicates that a total of nine combined resources from the Pagosa Fire Protection District, Office of Emergency Management, and Pagosa Springs Medical Center EMS responded prepared for an entrapment scenario. As the response teams made their way to the scene, the reporting party discovered that the patient was stable.
The 61-year-old, an employee of a logging company, was conducting a forest-thinning operation for a private ranch when the accident occurred.
According to the incident report, the individual was operating a feller-buncher to cut a large white fir. He had miscalculated the combined force of the tree’s weight with the roughly 20-degree slope, which caused the vehicle to topple forward downslope, where it eventually came to rest on its cabin.
The report states that the individual was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown forward in the cabin of the vehicle as it toppled. His crew managed to extract him from the machine, load him on a stretcher and transport him to the road using a van, where emergency response teams could meet them.
After arriving on scene and making an initial assessment, responders transferred the patient from the stretcher to the ambulance and cleared the scene around 8:30 p.m., according to the report.
The report states that alcohol and drugs are not suspected to have played a role in the accident.