A 61-year-old Calvert County man who spent a lifetime logging in Southern Maryland died Nov. 18, two days after a tree fell on him, family and friends said.
Clinton "Beaver" Goad of St. Leonard was cutting trees on the morning of Nov. 16 on a 20-acre tract off Lowery Road in Huntingtown when a skidder -- a machine used to drag away felled trees -- knocked into a gum tree. The tree fell on Goad's head, relatives and friends said.
Goad was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Two days later, his family decided to take him off life support. He was pronounced dead at 9:10 p.m. Nov. 18, said Carolyn Goad, his wife.
"He would have been on life support if he survived," Carolyn Goad said. "He would have been on it the rest of his life, and you can't live like that."
Goad grew up the son of a carpenter in the rural area of Willis, in southwestern Virginia. At 16 he moved to Calvert County to take a job as a logger, his wife said, and he remained in that trade for the rest of his life.
His affinity for being out in the woods, chopping trees, earned him the nickname "Beaver." The logo of his company, Goad Logging and Firewood, emblazoned on his hat and the side of his truck, was a beaver with a chain saw, said his close friend Dave Chessler, a forestry consultant.
"He was the best logger I've ever known, and I've dealt with a lot of loggers since I've been a forester," Chessler said.
Goad would not log when it was wet, he did not tear up the earth and he was careful about protecting trees that were not to be cut, Chessler said. "Mr. Goad was probably the most conscientious logger that I've ever dealt with."
Chessler described the incident as a "freak accident." Calvert County investigators said the death is being ruled accidental pending the results of an autopsy. There is no indication of foul play.
"Logging is probably one of the most dangerous jobs in America, but that's not the way people in the logging industry usually get hurt," Chessler said of Goad's accident.
Last month, Jacob D. Hertzler, 29, of Mechanicsville died when a partially cut tree fell on top of him while he was clearing farmland in Charlotte Hall, according to the Charles County Sheriff's Office.
A funeral for Goad was held Wednesday. At the Rausch Funeral Home in Port Republic on Tuesday a line of visitors stretched about a half-mile down Broomes Island Road for the viewing, Chessler said. Friends recalled Goad as a generous man who would donate firewood to those who couldn't afford to buy it during cold winters.
"He had a heart of gold," said Ivadell Goad, his sister in law. "If you couldn't get along with him, you couldn't get along with anyone, and the preacher even said that at the funeral."
Relatives said that Goad enjoyed hunting turkey, rabbit and deer and that he kept a large garden where he grew kale, tomatoes, corn and sweet potatoes. He also managed a large farm near his home on Mackall Road.
"He did everything. He was never just sitting down," Chessler said. "He probably would have kept logging until he couldn't do it any longer."