Excavation works turns deadly

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A 47-year-old Cottageville man died after a large tree fell on the mini-excavator he was operating in the 2500 block of Bama Road east of Cottageville Wednesday Sept. 2.

The man was found at approximately 4:17 p.m. and 9-1-1 was notified.

Firefighters and paramedics arrived to find the operator pinned under the tree in the crushed cab.

The tree landed on top of the excavator and a nearby shed. It appeared the operator was attempting to remove the tree. Fire-Rescue personnel determined the man had no signs of life and notified the coroner’s office.

Coroner Richard Harvey responded to the scene. Fire-Rescue crews contacted the Colleton County Roads and Bridges Department and requested a track hoe to assist at the scene. That department sent several employees and a track hoe.

Fire-Rescue personnel used chain saws to cut away limbs from the tree.

Once the roads and bridges crews arrived, the track hoe picked up the tree and removed it from the mini-excavator.

Firefighter-paramedics then used rescue tools to cutaway portions of the cab to free Keith Walker, 47.

The coroner’s office transported him from the scene.

Cottageville Police opened the town hall to provide a more comfortable location for the family members to assemble.

Emergency crews were on the scene for three-and-a-half hours.

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