NC man clearing trees from power lines killed in freak accident Wednesday

A man working to remove trees downed by Monday’s storms has died after being hit by a tree in Alexander County, officials report.

The incident happened before dawn Wednesday at the intersection of Mount Ridge Church Road and Dover Church Road, west of Taylorsville.

Alexander County 911 Center reports it received the call at 4:15 a.m. about a tree falling on an individual near the Ellendale Community of Alexander County. The victim was identified as Brian Keith Wilmoth, 31, of Wilkes County.

Wilmoth is an employee of Asplundh Company. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office.

An initial investigation shows that Wilmoth was operating a chainsaw and cutting a tree that had fallen on a power line. As Wilmoth cut the tree in two, the power lines sprang upward, throwing the tree back onto him.

The storms that passed through Western North Carolina Monday afternoon initially left 40,000 people without power.