Falling tree kills developer

A retired Appling developer died Tuesday evening following a construction accident on his property.

Arthur Grimaud, 70, of White Oak Road, died when a tree fell on him as he cleared them from behind his home.

Grimaud’s wife told police he’d been nearly a mile behind their house using a front-end loaded to clear trees to build a road, Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said.

He was late for dinner and Grimaud didn’t answer his cell phone. Garrison said his wife and a neighbor went looking for Grimaud and found him in the cab of the front-end loader with a tree across his chest.

It appeared that Grimaud, a retired developer, was pushing several trees into a pile when a 45- to 50-foot tall tree came over the bucket of the machine and into the open cab, Garrison said.

The tree crushed Grimaud’s chest and abdomen. Garrison pronounced him dead at the scene at about 9:20 p.m.

“It was not unusual for him to work by himself on his property,” Garrison said of Grimaud, who was a very experienced heavy equipment operator.

Grimaud developed several Columbia County subdivisions, including Grimaud Place off Columbia Road in Appling. 


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