Originally created 05/18/99

Logger dies at job site



A Jefferson County, Ga., man was killed Monday by a falling tree as he worked with a logging crew to clear land near Mistletoe State Park in Columbia County.

Fletcher Winn, 57, of Stapleton -- about 11 miles south of Augusta -- died instantly when the tree struck him in the back and crushed him, said dispatcher Ryan Goodson of the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency.

"He was part of a timbering crew and was cutting down a tree with a chain saw. When it finally went down, it grabbed another tree and pulled it down on top of him," Mr. Goodson said. "Another crewman found him and called 911 from his cell phone."

Sheriff's deputies and rescue teams from Horizon Emergency Medical Services, Winfield Volunteer Fire Department and the emergency agency rushed to the accident about a quarter-mile from the state park.

Dispatchers received the call at 10:12 a.m., and Mr. Winn was dead when rescuers arrived, Mr. Goodson said.

Rescue teams traveled about five miles into the woods to find Mr. Winn and the logging crew. Rescuers lifted the tree from Mr. Winn's body, then took him out with a four-wheel-drive vehicle, authorities said.

Mr. Winn's survivors include his wife, Lela, and his son, Ronnie, both of Stapleton.

"It is unfortunate," Deputy Coroner Tommy King Jr. said. "I spoke with some of his friends on the crew, and they said that he had been a logger almost all of his life."

Scotty Fletcher can be reached at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 111, or ccchron@augustachronicle.com.