A 39-year-old tree trimmer died in Bonita after an accident trapped him on a palm tree, California firefighters told news outlets.
Rescue crews responded to the front yard of a home at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, the Times of San Diego reported. Palm fronds had collapsed onto the trimmer as he worked, trapping him, KFMB reported. Other workers were trying to free the man, who was pinned about 50 feet up the tree.
It took rescuers 35 minutes to free the man and lower him to the ground, where he was pronounced dead, KSWB reported.
“We have seen this in the past with these palm fronds falling on these tree trimmers and it is something that is relatively unique to certain types of palm trees,” Chula Vista Battalion Chief Tim Mehrer told KNSD.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office identified him as Bardomiano Bautista-Perez, KSWB reported.
The father of four from Escondido had been hired by a friend as part of a four-person team, his family told KGTV. The team was on its second job of the day when the accident took place.
“We can’t believe it,” sister-in-law Rosario Martinez told the station. “You can’t describe it in words.”
His daughter told KGTV she hopes to make Bautista’s dream of a family-owned tree-trimming business come true despite his death.
Bonita has a population of about 13,000 people and is about 10 miles southeast of San Diego.
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