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Ranger fatally injured while working at a North Carolina park

A 31-year-old educational forest ranger died from the injuries he suffered while he was working at the Tuttle State Educational Forest in Lenoir. The Aug. 13 incident occurred during the afternoon hours when a tree suddenly split and violently struck the worker's chest as he was using a tractor to move it away from the park's roadway. The ranger, who was immediately transported to a local hospital for treatment, succumbed to his injuries a short time later, according to the report.

Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visited the state park on August 14 to perform an investigation into the accident. The park was temporarily closed to the public and was planned to reopen sometime towards the end of August, according to state park officials. It was reported that the park's flags were being flown at half-mast in remembrance of the ranger's death and that visitors came to by the park entrance to express their sympathy.

The forest ranger, who resided in Morganton, had worked at Tuttle State Educational Forest since 2007. During those years, part of his job consisted of teaching school children about forestry. He had been a North Carolina Forest Service employee since 2003. He is survived by a wife and two young children.

Following a fatal workplace accident, surviving family members of a deceased worker are eligible to file a workers' compensation claim which includes death and burial benefits. Burial benefits could assist the family with their loved one's funeral expenses while death benefits may compensate them with a reasonable amount of the income they no longer are receiving due to the death of their family member. Families in similar situations may find that securing the services of an attorney experienced in workers' compensation may be beneficial in helping them to gain a full understanding of the benefits they may be entitled to receive.

Source:, "NC Forest Service employee dies in tree accident", Dave Faherty, August 14, 2014

Source:, "NC Forest Service employee dies in tree accident", Dave Faherty, August 14, 2014

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