Timber – At 9:52 a.m. today, August 27, the Banks Fire District, accompanied by Forest Grove Fire and Rescue, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, and Metro West Ambulance, responded to a logging accident that severely injured a man described as being in his late 20s to early 30s.
The man’s name has not been released pending notification of family.
The accident occurred on steep terrain off of NW Wheeler Road about three miles from the junction of Timer Road and Highway 26.
Banks Fire spokesman Mitch Ward said logging crews were working to remove a fallen tree that was tied to a cable on one end while being hoisted up and out of a ravine. The log “tipped one way and he couldn’t get out of the way in time,” Ward said
“He was conscious when emergency crews arrived,” Ward said. “We had to repel down and use ropes to bring him back up. We couldn’t see how far down the ravine went, but we went down about 300 feet to retrieve the patient.”
Metro West Ambulance transported the man from the accident scene on NW Wheeler Road to a landing zone at Timber Road and Highway 2 where. Lifeflight then airlifted him to Emanuel Hospital in Portland. His condition has not yet been released. Ward also said he did not know the name of the logging company where the man worked.
Even though only one man was injured, the nature of the accident called for three crews to respond so that enough people power was present to help get the man up and out of the deep, treacherous ravine, Ward said.
“We knew going out that far (into the forest) we would need to go with several people and in this case it paid off because of the location of the patient,” he said.
Ward added that traumatic logging accidents are not as common as they used to be.
“I know we responded to one last year,” he said. “I want to say we respond to a traumatic logging accident about once per year, or once per season. They’ve come a long way with safety but the bottom line is it’s dangerous work and you can only get away from so much of the danger through safety practices.”
This article has been corrected; the patient did not fall down the ravine, but was already there at the time of the accident. We regret the error.