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Man struck, killed by tree
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James “Jody” Manuel Carter Jr. was killed when this section of a tree he was helping cut down struck him in the head, according to a Martinsville Police Department report. (Bulletin photo by Vicky Morrison)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

By SAM JACKSON - Bulletin Staff Writer

A Martinsville man was pronounced dead Tuesday after being struck by a large section of a tree that was being cut down, according to a release from city police.

James “Jody” Manuel Carter Jr., 53, of 514 Letcher St., was struck by part of the tree which was being cut down by several men at a residence, the report stated.

Police Chief Mike Rogers said Tuesday that Carter had been at a neighbor’s house on Letcher Street helping some other men with the tree.

“It was a real large oak tree, and they had already climbed it and cut some limbs out of it,” he said.

The men then attempted to cut the trunk of the tree into sections, and a piece that was about 12 inches in diameter fell into another tree and became wedged in the forks of the other tree, Rogers said.

The workers continued to cut the tree while tying a rope around the piece that was stuck, Rogers said, and Carter was among those who were trying to pull the stuck piece free. The section then became dislodged from the nearby tree and fell, striking Carter in the head, Rogers said.

Martinsville Fire and EMS crews responding to the scene found Carter unresponsive. He was taken to Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release.

“What’s so unfortunate about it was this guy was just down there helping these people out,” Rogers said. He said Carter frequently helped his neighbors with odd jobs and yard work.

Carter was a familiar face to many around the city, Rogers added.

“I’ve known him for over 30 years,” he said. “One of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.”

Rogers said an investigatigation into the incident is ongoing, but police are treating the case as an accident.


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