(La Porte, IN) - A worker clearing brush from a utility easement was impaled by a branch Wednesday outside La Porte. The man was taken to a hospital by a Medic One helicopter about a quarter mile from a field where the late morning accident happened in the 3900 block of N. 100 West.
La Porte County Police Chief Deputy, Ron Heeg, said the stick about a foot long and one inch in diameter went through the man’s leg and into his mid-section. Despite his injuries looking very serious, Heeg said the victim seemed alert and was talking. “The gentleman at this time seems to be, I guess, doing as well as possible,” he said.
Heeg said the preliminary investigation shows the man was part of a crew from an independent contracting firm clearing brush from a utility easement. The man was operating a brush cutting machine when somehow pierced by the branch. “It’s just a very freak and unfortunate accident,” Heeg said.
The man was brought out of the field on an off road vehicle, also used to transport him to the helicopter, while kept stable on the machine by paramedics to prevent further injury.
Andrew McGuire, director of La Porte County Emergency Medical Service, said the man was too far away from the road in a somewhat wooded area to be reached by ambulance. He said the behavior of the man could have seemed normal but internal bleeding and other complications can develop from such injuries. “So, to err on the side of caution (we'll) get him to a trauma center and they can do their due diligence and make sure he’s stable,” McGuire said.