Fallen tree kills man during logging operations at South Mitkof timber sale
A hook setter was killed last Thursday at the South Mitkof timber sale site near Banana Point.
Mark Debates, 51, had just finished hooking cables onto logs near the camp at 28 mile when a tree fell onto him after the helicopter transferring the logs to a barge flew away.
“He was there with a partner who witnessed it,” said Beth Ipsen, Alaska State Trooper spokesperson. “The helicopter was flying off when the top of a tree broke off and fell on him. His partner said he heard a crack and saw the treetop fall.”
Ipsen said there’s no indication the helicopter hit the tree or that rotor wash, the wind energy from its propeller, blew the tree over.
The helicopter lifted the tree off Debates and transported him to town. He was taken to Petersburg Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries during treatment.
Debates, of Idaho, worked for Columbia Helicopters.