1 Man Killed Doing Tree Removal Work in Richfield

May 18, 2018 12:03 PM

Police say one person was killed Wednesday during a landscaping accident in Richfield.

The incident occurred in the area of James Avenue South and West 70th Street.


A witness said a tree removal service was taking down a tree in the area. While they were putting parts of the tree in a wood chipper, the machine became clogged. When one man tried to unclog the wood chipper, a piece of metal was unlodged, which then struck the man, whom family members identified as Bill Pipes. Pipes is the father of six children.

Pipes' brother, Tom Pipes, said he thrived on spring clean-up work.

"He bought the chipper, tried to get it out all the time," Tom Pipes said. "There were little issues with it and apparently something blew up."

The incident happened within earshot of his coworker Christian Abraham.

"I heard the noise the machine made when the accident happened and I turned and saw him on the ground," Abraham said. 

Abraham had the neighbors call 911 and tied a tourniquet around Pipes' arm. 

"My heart is broken right now," Abraham said. 

Because it was a workplace accident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks tree trimming as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs.


Beth McDonough and Ben Rodgers

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