5-year-old crushed to death by tree in Pownal

Posted Nov. 14, 2010, at 10:28 p.m.

In a freak accident on Sunday in Pownal, a 5-year-old boy was crushed by a tree.

According to a press release from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the boy apparently had been playing in a hole made by an uprooted tree that had blown over last week during the windstorm. The boy’s grandfather was unaware that the child was playing near the uprooted tree when he began to cut and remove the tree.

The boy’s grandfather cut the tree approximately 10 feet above the roots and when he did, the root ball and remaining portion of the tree “kicked up” into position as if the tree trunk was standing. The child was pinned beneath the roots and remaining portion of the tree trunk and was not noticed for some time.

When the grandfather didn’t see the victim or his older sister, he looked for them and discovered a portion of the boy’s sweatshirt under the roots. While the grandfather frantically tried to dig his grandson out from underneath the tree, family members called the Pownal Fire Department.

Advised that the firefighters were trying to free the boy, sheriff’s deputies arrived at approximately 1:45 p.m. at the scene on Merrill Road. Fire Chief Richard Hogue and firefighter Robert Ginn attached a chain to the remaining portion of the tree and used a pickup truck to move it enough so they could free the boy.

The child was taken to the Maine Medical Center in Portland by Freeport Rescue, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the accident.

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