A Smethport man was injured in a logging accident Friday morning at Marilla Reservoir, and had to be carried out of the woods on a hastily cut temporary path.
Bradford Township Police Chief Robb Shipman explained that Nicholas Conner, 27, was part of the team removing ash trees from Bradford City Water Authority property.
“He was alone,” Shipman said. “He was attempting to cut a tree that had four different sections. One spun and pinned him to the ground.”
While there is notoriously no cell service around Marilla, Conner had just enough signal to call 9-1-1 from his cellphone, Shipman said.
“He never lost consciousness that we know of,” he added, saying the police got the call at 10:20 a.m.. Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department and police, and Bradford City ambulance, responded. Conner was able to direct them to his location, “about 150 yards off the nearest walking trail,” Shipman said.
“The fire department had to cut a trail in for us to access him,” he said, remarking that several of the township firemen had chainsaws with them in their personal vehicles.
Both of Conner’s legs were injured — one was fractured, and the other appeared to have vein and vascular damage. He was able to free one leg himself, but wasn’t able to free the other one, the chief explained.
“One of the firemen had to cut the tree off of him,” Shipman said, adding, “I can’t say enough about these guys, these volunteers. They do a tremendous job.”
It took a few hours to free Conner, and load him in a “Stokes basket” and carry him down the steep incline to the trail. Another logger had arrived and moved the skidder out of the way to allow the emergency personnel easier access to Conner.
Shipman said there were probably a dozen people there, “and everybody was needed. We had to keep passing the basket as we slid down the hill.”
At the bottom of the hill, the basket was loaded onto the Bradford Township Police Department’s utility vehicle, which is specially equipped to carry a medical backboard.
“His parents were waiting when we got to the ambulance,” Shipman said. “They had to take him to the airport to meet the helicopter. They were concerned about the weather down in the valley, and the airport was the safest place for the helicopter to land.”
Shipman again commended the township’s volunteer fire department. “It was a great response from Bradford Township.”