Man badly injured in Schenectady tree accident

Victim's leg had to be freed
Schenectady firefighters work to free a man's leg after a tree accident behind his residence at 1774 Van Vranken Ave.
Schenectady firefighters work to free a man's leg after a tree accident behind his residence at 1774 Van Vranken Ave.

SCHENECTADY — A man was seriously injured Friday when a large tree he was cutting down on his property on Van Vranken Avenue fell on his leg.

Schenectady police and firefighters, along with personnel from the city’s Bureau of Service and Mohawk Ambulance, closed a section of Van Vranken for about 90 minutes while they worked to rescue the man. National Grid crews turned off power in the area.

Assistant Schenectady Fire Chief Don Mareno said responders had to work delicately. The tree, about a foot in diameter and 20 feet long, became caught in branches of nearby trees and did not fall all the way to the ground.

Two doctors from Albany Medical Center Hospital rushed to the scene. A medical helicopter landed at Schenectady High School, but firefighters said the man was taken to Albany Medical via ambulance. They did not release his name, but said he was in his 40s.

Images: Photos from Friday’s rescue

The man was working around noon in a stand of trees located next to the parking lot of the former Ritz Restaurant, located across the street. Mike Aragosa, who along with family members owns Marty’s True Value Hardware — located next to the old restaurant building — said the man’s relatives ran into his store for help.

“I ran over to see what was going on,” Aragosa said. “When I saw the situation, I told them to call 911. The firemen came, when they got on the scene they quickly took over, made some decisions to call in Life Flight.”

Life Flight provides air transport to hospitals for the seriously injured.

Aragosa said the man’s relatives hoped neighborhood people could lift the tree off the injured man, as the base of the tree had pinned his leg to the ground.

“It was way too big,” Aragosa said, adding the man was awake and alert.

“They gave him something for his pain because he was in a lot of pain,” Aragosa said. “The paramedics did that right away.”

Aragosa said he also saw a chainsaw and other saws in the yard, which was full of cut tree branches.

“These folks bought the house about a year ago and they’ve been working on it ever since, clearing the tree line, repairing the house, doing all kinds of work,” Aragosa said, adding he thinks the trees near the house are box elders.

At one point, a crane, backhoe, fire truck and two ambulances filled the parking lot. Another half-dozen emergency vehicles remained in the street, emergency lights flashing.

Images: Photos from Friday’s rescue

The crane, a wrecking ball attached to its arm, lifted a man into the trees to make some minor cuts.

Mareno said rescue crews had to proceed slowly, to make sure the suspended tree did not fall.

Mareno also praised the team effort involved, and said in his opinion, the man was lucky to have survived the ordeal.

Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]



Categories: News, Schenectady County

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