A tree trimmer from Pennsylvania is lucky to be alive after a freak accident left him with a chainsaw embedded into his neck. As reported by KDKA on April 1, James Valentine was in a tree doing his job when the saw he was using to cut tree limbs slipped from his grasp and fell on his neck seriously injuring him.
The 21-year-old man, who works for Adler Tree Service in Gibsonia, was in a harness about halfway up the tree with the chainsaw in his hand when the accident occurred.
“It was just a freak accident. It could happen to anybody climbing a tree,” said Valentine as he lay in his hospital bed recovering. “The chainsaw came back at me and got stuck in my neck.”
He was helped down carefully by a co-worker who was able to climb up to get him. Valentine was able to turn the saw off and hold it in place while climbing down.
“I was holding it with this hand and scooted down with this hand,” Valentine said. “Soon as I got down…Just seeing the blood just squirting out, that was crazy.”
According to Ross Township EMS, Greg Porter, he never lost consciousness. The paramedics brought along a doctor to the scene to help. As soon as he got down to the ground, police worked to remove the motor from the chainsaw, leaving the blade in his neck so he wouldn’t bleed out from the deep wound.
As soon as the man arrived to Allegheny General Hospital, surgeons took him to surgery to remove the blade. Thankfully, Valentine is expected to make a full recovery. The blade embedded into his muscle, missing any major arteries. The hospital released x-ray images showing exactly where the chainsaw blade lodged partially into his neck and shoulder area.
Dominic Migliozzi, owner of the tree service, said that he always stresses safety first on the job and called the situation upsetting.
The grateful tree trimmer is expected to go back to work as soon as he is back on his feet.