A man had to be flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center Tuesday morning after a tree fell on top of him in eastern Whitley County.
“It could have been a whole lot worse. He got lucky,” noted Patterson Creek Volunteer Fire Chief Pee Jib Paul.
The incident happened about 9:30 a.m. off Little Patterson Creek near Rev. Gene Goins Road in a rugged and fairly remote area.
When the man, who was logging, cut down a tree below him, Paul said that vines connected to that tree were also apparently connected to another tree behind the victim. When the first tree fell, it uprooted the second tree, pulling it down on top of the victim.
Paul said that he isn’t sure what the victim’s name was, other than people were calling him Will.
Paul said that from what he could tell, Will suffered a broken ankle and broken leg during the incident.
“He stayed awake talking to us the whole time. When we loaded him into the chopper, he was still awake and alert,” Paul noted.
It took about 10 firefighters from Patterson Creek and Woodbine Search and Rescue about 30 minutes to free the victim from the tree, and about an hour to get him down the steep hill.
Whitley County EMS treated the victim at the scene, and transported him to an emergency-landing zone, which had been set up at the old Nevisdale Elementary School.
A PHI air medical helicopter landed and transported the victim to U.T. for further treatment.
None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, Paul said.