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Caldwell forest ranger killed in accident

A Burke County man who had given dozens of education programs as a ranger at a state forest in Caldwell County was killed Wednesday in an accident, according to N.C. Forest Service officials.

Jimmy Halliburton, 31, of Morganton, died when he was trying to clear a tree from a road at Tuttle State Educational Forest near Lenoir. Halliburton had worked as an education ranger at the forest since 2007.

State officials said Halliburton, who joined the Forest Service in 2003, was using a tractor to clear a fallen tree. The tree snapped, striking the ranger.

Tuttle State Educational Forest is closed for several days, according to Forest Service officials. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting an investigation into the case.

Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement Thursday, saying he and his wife, Ann, “were sad to learn of the death of Jimmy Halliburton, and we would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his friends and family.”

“Many state employees face inherent risks, and it’s a tragedy when one loses their life in the performance of their duties and in service to our state,” McCrory said.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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