Holden man dies after being caught between skidder, tree

Posted April 20, 2011, at 11:30 a.m.
Last modified April 21, 2011, at 12 p.m.

ORRINGTON, Maine — A local woodcutter was killed Tuesday afternoon when he got caught between a skidder and a tree while working in the woods off Mason Hill Road, Assistant Fire Chief Scott Stewart said on Wednesday.

“The victim was pronounced dead at the scene,” he said.

Holden resident William Jordan, 38, was working for local company Larry Eckert and Son, which had been hired to log the private land, Sgt. William Birch of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, who is leading the investigation, said Wednesday.

He described the incident as an “unfortunate accident.”

First responders got the call for help at around 4:25 p.m. Tuesday, and Orrington Fire Department firefighters and rescue crews and Deputy Chad Young quickly determined Jordan was mortally wounded, Birch said.

“It came in as a chain saw accident,” Stewart said, attributing the initial confusion about the nature of the incident to a miscommunication between groups of loggers that were working the land at the time.

A medical examiner and officials from the Maine Forest Service and Occupational Safety and Health Administration reviewed the scene Tuesday, and OSHA officials continued their investigation Wednesday, Birch said.

“I met with them this morning,” he said. “They are still looking into it.”

OSHA investigates all workplace deaths, the sergeant said.

The Holden Police Department notified Jordan’s mother of his death Tuesday, he said.

Both Birch and Stewart said working in the woods is not an easy job.

“There is no such thing as a small accident when you are working in the woods, especially when you are working with that type of equipment,” Birch said.

“Some professions are more dangerous than others and that certainly ranks up there,” Stewart said.

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