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Man dies following tree-trimming accident in Alsace

Published On: Aug 13 2014 11:21:41 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2014 01:14:26 PM CDT

A tree-trimmer had to be rushed to the hospital on Wednesday morning after losing consciousness in a bucket more than 60 feet in the air, according to witnesses.

ALSACE TWP., Pa. -

A tree-trimmer has died after losing consciousness in a bucket more than 60 feet in the air Wednesday, according to witnesses.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. in the first block of Rand Drive in Alsace Township, Berks County.

"He was cutting a big limb off the top, taking the top off the tree and I don't know what happened," said witness Tim Maser, who was working with the victim at a home off Rand Drive.

Maser was on the ground when he noticed the victim, Cecil "Terry" English, 61, struggling up above.

"When the branch fell, it twisted and came around and trapped him in between the rope and the bucket, with the weight of the branch choking him, and the next thing we knew, he was unconscious," said Charles Fegley, the property owner, who had hired the crew to remove a poplar tree more than 100 feet tall.

Fegley and Maser both jumped into action by attempting to lower the bucket and call 911.

"Get him some help. It's the only thing I could think of," said Fegley.

"I was panicking," said Maser. "His lips were blue."

Fire crews from Mount Penn and Alsace Manor arrived on scene to retrieve the victim. He was transported to hospital for treatment, where the coroner said he died Wednesday afternoon.

According to Maser, English wasn't just a friend, but a father figure. He said the victim owned the tree-trimming business.

"I'm just upset," said Maser.

State police were called to the scene to investigate but were not releasing any information as of Wednesday afternoon. Fire officials on the scene would not comment.