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Old 12-31-2005, 12:47 PM  
CosmicPal CosmicPal is offline
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What a Horrific Way to Go

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_3355433


Routine job turned horrific
Tree trimmer powerless to save boss caught in wood chipper
By John Ingold
Denver Post Staff Writer
DenverPost.com

Chad Swank was standing in the basket of a cherry-picker truck Wednesday afternoon, using a chain saw to trim branches from a large, dead tree at a house in Loveland.

His boss and longtime tree- trimming partner, Brian Ganiard Morse, was on the ground, feeding the branches into a wood chipper. It was nothing out of the ordinary for the pair, who were both certified tree trimmers and had worked on jobs together off and on for about six years.

Swank started to cut a branch, and, per his usual habit, looked down to make sure the area underneath was clear. That's when he noticed something was wrong.

He saw Morse lying on the hopper of the chipper. Puzzled, Swank said, he thought that Morse must have turned the chipper off and been working on the machine. Swank shut off his saw to check.

But the chipper was still running at full speed. And Morse, his legs motionless, was slowly being pulled into it.

"So many things go through your mind at that point," Swank said.

Frantic, Swank swung one leg out of the basket, then the other until he was hanging from the basket. He let go and fell about 15 to 20 feet.

He sprinted to the chipper, but he knew there was nothing he could do.

"It's one of those things I'm still kind of numb to," Swank said Thursday. "I don't know how to feel quite yet. ... It's one of those things where you don't believe what is happening is happening."

On Thursday, Morse's family and friends, fellow arborists and authorities tried to better understand an accident that has attracted so much attention for its pure shock value.

The Larimer County coroner's office conducted an autopsy, and, using fingerprints, they officially identified Morse, the 54-year-old owner of Brian's Tree Trimming and Removal Service in Loveland, as the victim.

Following the autopsy, the coroner's office released a statement saying the victim was pulled entirely through the chipper. "Total morselization" is how the statement put it.

Since there were no witnesses to the start of the accident, investigators are speculating that Morse got a glove caught in the chipper and couldn't get free.

"What took place before the glove got caught is what we're still trying to look into," said Dean Beers, an investigator with the coroner's office.

Beers said the chipper had a handle that, when activated, would reverse the movement of the chipper's feeder gears. It is unclear whether Morse could have reached the handle when the accident occurred.

Swank, as well as the owner of another tree service in Loveland, said Morse was exceptionally careful.

"He was a very good Christian man who always emphasized safety," Swank said. "It was an accident. We don't call them intentionals."

Even in an exceptionally perilous job such as tree trimming, the dangers of the wood chipper stand out, said Roy Barnhart, who owns Roy's Tree Service in Loveland and who knew Morse. The chipper in this accident, a Vermeer BC1250A, has the capacity to shred trees up to a foot in diameter, according to its manufacturer. It would probably take only a few seconds for the chipper's blades to turn such a tree into mulch, Barnhart said.

Meanwhile, the gears that grab branches and pull them toward the blades are unforgiving.

"The human body has no chance" if something gets caught, Barnhart said.

Morse leaves behind his wife, a son and two grandsons, about whom he talked constantly, Swank said.

Morse enjoyed jogging and had run several marathons.

Barnhart said Morse was something of a perfectionist.

"He was a man who loved his work," Barnhart said. "He was a man who was very particular in how he did things. That's why it's hard to understand how this happened, because he was very careful all the time."

Staff writer John Ingold can be reached at 720-929-0898 or jingold@denverpost.com.
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Old 12-31-2005, 12:49 PM   #2
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Old 12-31-2005, 12:51 PM   #3
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Word of the Day: Morselization
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Old 12-31-2005, 12:57 PM   #4
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Old 12-31-2005, 01:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Word of the Day: Morselization

MMmmmmmmm, morselization.
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Old 12-31-2005, 02:18 PM   #6
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:37 PM   #7
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:21 PM   #8
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:37 PM   #9
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Not sure if "Morselization" fits this situation...

mor·sel (môrsl)
n.
A small piece of food.
A tasty delicacy; a tidbit.
A small amount; a piece: a morsel of gossip.
One that is delightful and extremely pleasing.
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedated
Not sure if "Morselization" fits this situation...

mor·sel (môrsl)
n.
A small amount; a piece
It could be a piece of person, or a small amount of person
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedated
Not sure if "Morselization" fits this situation...

mor·sel (môrsl)
n.
A small piece of food.
A tasty delicacy; a tidbit.
A small amount; a piece: a morsel of gossip.
One that is delightful and extremely pleasing.
Its a technical term. Seriously.
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:36 PM   #12
BigMeatballDave BigMeatballDave is online now
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The lean and hungry type
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:51 PM   #13
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:52 PM   #14
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:52 PM   #15
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You can't stop him................

you can only hope to contain him.

Sorry
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