HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Roberto LaMotte, 45, tragically died Nov.3 while pinned under a tree in Henrico.
Fire crews responded to a residence at the intersection of Azalea and Crenshaw streets at about 6:30 p.m., and found LaMotte trapped. He died from his injuries while first responders tried to rescue him.
A tree-trimming company was working to remove the tree for a client when the incident occurred, according to a statement from the Henrico County Division of Fire. It is unclear whether LaMotte was employed by or affiliated with the company.
Henrico Fire, Police and Virginia Occupational Safety and Health worked with crews to stabilize the tree and safely remove it from the victim.
No other information about the accident has been released.
COMMENTARY ON THE ROBERTO LAMOTTE ACCIDENT IN HENRICO, VIRGINIA
I am saddened to learn of Mr. LaMotte’s tragic accident. When accidents unexpectedly claim the life of a loved one in their prime, the bereaved unfortunately have no opportunity to bid farewell. I have represented individuals and families all across the country who have been involved in mishaps similar to this one, and I have witnessed the suffering and anguish of the families and loved ones of the deceased. I continue to be encouraged by the strength of those left behind, who manage to wrestle through their sorrow and move forward. I can attest that time is the great healer.
Published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, a recent study found that tree felling is one of the most dangerous occupations in America. A staggering 314 fatalities were reported between 2010-2020. Most of these deaths are preventable, according to the study. Those employed in the tree felling industry need additional training in proactive prevention strategies, which can save lives.
The employer is responsible for providing the requisite training and implementing proven safety standards to help prevent accidents like this from happening. However, despite this responsibility, I have found corporations often cut corners in pursuit of profits. The information released by authorities does not enable us to ascertain whether this is the case in this accident. A detailed investigation must be conducted to determine what factors may have contributed to the accident and whether corporate negligence played a role.
My sincere condolences go out to Mr. LaMotte’s family and loved ones.
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