Colleton County Fire-Rescue


02/September/2020 – Fatal Excavator Accident – ”B” Shift

Incident # 20-06026 – A 47 year old Cottageville man died after a large tree fell on the mini-excavator he was operating in the 2500 block of Bama Rd east of Cottageville Wednesday afternoon 02-September. The man was found at approximately 16:17 and 9-1-1 was notified. Engine 9 and Medic 9 arrived to find the excavator pinned under the tree and the cab was crushed. The operator was trapped inside. The tree came to rest on top of the excavator and a nearby shed. It appeared the operator was attempting to remove the tree. Firefighter-Paramedics determined the man had no signs of life and notified the Coroner’s Office. Coroner Richard Harvey responded to the scene. Fire-Rescue crews contacted the County Roads and Bridges Dept and requested a track hoe to assist at the scene. Roads and Bridges sent several employees and a track hoe. Firefighter-Paramedics in the meantime used chain saws to cut away limbs from the tree. Once Roads and Bridges crews arrived the track hoe easily picked up the tree and removed it from the mini-excavator. Firefighters then used Holmatro Rescue Tools to cutaway portions of the cab to free the operator. The Coroner’s Office transported him from the scene. Cottageville Police opened the Town Hall to provide a more comfortable location for the family members to assemble. Emergency crews were on the scene for 3-1/2 hours.

Engine 9, Medic 9, Rescue 1, Car 107, Car 112 and Car 118 responded. Asst. Chief Marty Stallings served as Incident Commander.