MENLO PARK, Calif. – The Menlo Park Police Department responded Tuesday to reports of a horrific incident involving a man employed as a tree trimmer “falling into a wood chipper.”
Responding officers along with fire personnel arrived about 12:53 p.m. in the 900 block of Peggy Lane and discovered what had to be a horrible scene. A man was found deceased from injuries sustained due to the industrial accident, Breaking 911 reported.
The San Mateo County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday identified the victim as 47-year-old Jesus Contreras-Benitez of Redwood City, according to NBC Bay Area.
It was unclear how Contreras-Benitez wound up in the piece of machinery. A reporter for KTVU in San Francisco, Jesse Gary, said the equipment had a safety plate that should prevent a person from falling in. Therefore, it is more likely he was somehow pulled into the chipper. i.e. an article of clothing could have snagged on a branch that was subsequently pulled into the equipment.
Contreras-Benitez worked for McClanahan Tree Services. They declined comment when asked about the death investigation.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) was at the scene and is investigating the death.