Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

WorkSafe BC investigating man’s death during Oak Bay tree removal

Man was working for contracted tree removal company when incident occurred

A quiet street in Oak Bay is the site of a solemn scene after a workplace death Tuesday morning.

Neighbours were visibly shaken, and one man, who appeared to be a member of the tree services crew, was crying on the curb.

The scene was at a standstill for a number of hours, with police unable to continue their investigation because branches of a nearby Garry oak had fallen on a utility line above. The body of the deceased man could not be moved until the wires were cleared.

“We have someone who’s lost their life,” said Det. Chris Horsley of Saanich Police Department. Mindful about next of kin notification, he said the department will not release the identity of the worker or the name of the company as they attempt to reach out to loved ones. “Our primary focus at this point is to ensure that no one else is hurt and to make sure the scene is safe.”

A crew was contracted to remove a Garry oak and was working on that when the man was killed.

“What transpired to actually cause the accident is still under investigation,” Horsley said. Under a joint service agreement, Saanich provides services, including investigative work, for the Oak Bay Police Department.

Roads were closed to traffic and pedestrians on McNeill Avenue between Byng Road and Island Road for several hours while police and WorkSafe BC crews investigated. Police had cleared the scene by 5 p.m. but the Oak Bay Fire Department was still on scene conducting clean up.

READ ALSO: WorkSafeBC investigating death at Victoria Customs House construction site


 

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Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

The coroner on scene of a workplace fatality in Oak Bay on Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

The coroner on scene of a workplace fatality in Oak Bay on Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)