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Palm Fronds Smother, Kill Tree Trimmer

MESA, Ariz. – A man trimming a palm tree in Mesa was killed Saturday morning when about 500 pounds of dead foliage fell and trapped him.

Mesa Fire Department spokesman Doug Martineau says the man was trapped but appeared to be fine when his partner on the ground asked the homeowner to call for help. The resident didn’t speak Spanish and couldn’t understand what was wrong, but a passer-by who did stopped and helped place the call.

By the time fire crews arrived, the dead foliage had apparently shifted and was preventing the 28-year-old worker from breathing. Martineau says fire crews in a ladder truck were able to cut away the fronds, but efforts to revive the man were unsuccessful.

The man’s partner called his wife and toddler daughter to the scene, where they were met with grief counselors.