By Ralph Iannotti

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A tragic logging accident in Beaver County claimed the life of a West Virginia man’s on Friday.

The incident happened just before noon in Independence Township.

The victim’s name has not yet been released, but the Beaver County Coroner’s Office says he is from Chester, W. Va. He was taken to the Beaver Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The victim of the logging accident was helping relatives cut down trees on the relative’s property off of Hookstown-Grade Road. They were clearing a path for a gas drilling pad.

Chief Mark New, of the Independence Volunteer Fire Department, said the weather conditions at the time of the accident were horrible.

“Heavy snowfall. Our patient was three-quarters to a mile back in the woods,” said Chief New. “The crew that was on scene did a fantastic job getting him up and access to us. We met them about three-quarters of a mile down in the woods on an ATV and we were able to extricate the patient the best we could with our life-saving attempts.”

The first call to Beaver County 911 that there had been an accident came in just after 11:30 a.m.

Safety officials from companies that are drilling in the area were at the scene, but this is not considered and on-the-job workplace fatality since the victim was helping relatives at the time and was not employed by any of the companies.

“From what I understand, they were cutting the tree, the tree split and part of that tree stuck the patient on the head,” Chief New added. “There was life-saving attempts by residents that were working there and also people from Range Resources and Markwest Energy.”

An autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday.

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