Tree Trimmer Dies After High Wind Knocks Down Limb

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 20, 2007

A tree trimmer was killed by a falling limb in Arlington yesterday, an apparent casualty of the high winds that raked the area.

The incident occurred about 10:15 a.m. in the 1000 block of North Montana Street in the Dominion Hills section of Arlington, according to the county's emergency communications center.

The worker, who was not identified immediately, was part of a seven-member crew from a private service that was trimming trees behind a house, authorities said.

While crew members were rigging a tree to be trimmed, "a large gust of wind blew," according to a statement from Arlington authorities.

Crew members heard "a large cracking sound," and a big branch broke from a tree and fell about 70 feet.

The workers tried to flee, but one was struck on the head by the falling branch. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His name is being withheld until relatives could be notified.

Authorities said the limb that fell was not on a tree that was being trimmed at the time.

The high wind recorded yesterday at Reagan National Airport was 26 mph, according to National Weather Service figures.

However, at least one gust of 40 mph was also reported at National.

At Dulles International Airport, wind gusted up to 41 mph, the Weather Service said.

The service reported gale force winds over area waterways during the afternoon. Such winds range from 32 to 63 mph.

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