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Logging accidents claim three lives over weekend

Three unrelated logging incidents claimed the lives of three North Coast men over the weekend. The first occurred in Garberville sometime before 4 p.m. The Humboldt Country Coroner’s Office said 66-year-old Thomas Alan Rea was struck by a log while cutting firewood on his own property and died of blunt force trauma. Garberville Ambulance and Cal Fire responded, but he was dead when they arrived on scene.

Then just four hours later, another logger was found deceased in Kneeland. The wife of 53-year-old William Stanley Thomas of Mad River called his co-workers when he didn’t return home that night. They searched for him on Sierra Pacific Industries land just south of Stapp Road and found Thomas deceased. The Coroner’s Office said just as he felled a large fir tree, a black oak tree fell for an unknown reason and struck him. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Another autopsy is scheduled this Wednesday for a Eureka logger that was struck by a redwood tree on Saturday ten miles east of the Wigley and Elk River Road intersection. The Coroner’s Office said 23-year-old Jason Danial Nelson-Meng was working as a choker setter when he was struck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.