A 26-year-old tree trimmer fell 55 feet to his death last week while clearing storm-damaged limbs along some Pacific Gas & Electric lines near Weitchpec, north of Hoopa.
Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Trevor Enright said investigators from a number of entities are still working to figure out exactly what caused Kenneth Arlen Buck Williams, of Hoopa, to fall at about 3 p.m. on Dec. 30. Williams was working for Wright Tree Service at the time, which PG&E had contracted to clear some tree limbs that had been damaged in recent storms.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the family of our contractor’s employee,” PG&E said in a statement emailed to the Journal
. “Last Wednesday afternoon there was a fatal accident involving an employee of a tree contractor in Humboldt County. We are looking into the details of the accident, so we can understand what happened. The safety of our employees, customers and contractors is our highest priority.”
Becky Jordan, a spokesperson for the Idaho-based Wright Tree Service, said the company is currently investigating the cause of Williams’ fall. “We really don’t have any answers to any of our questions at this point,” she said, adding that the company has heard “many stories” but wants to find out exactly happened before speaking more about the incident.
Wright Tree Service doesn’t have an office in Humboldt County, and Jordan said local employees of the company just work out of their trucks.
The fall was reported to the California Department of Industrial Relations, which has launched an investigation. A spokesperson for the department said she couldn’t provide any additional information until the investigation is complete.