Crews of local tree trimming businesses congregated in Oak Bay on Wednesday near the sight of Tuesday’s tree-pruning workplace fatality at Byng Street and McNeill Avenue.
The crews were there in solidarity for the unidentified young man who died following an incident around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday where a Tomahawk Tree Service crew was working.
While patrolling for our B&E suspects, I came across this moving tribute. A large gathering of arborists & crews gathered at the scene of y'days tragic incident. I avoided the area but wanted to share this from a distance as it shows how we all have our own communities. RIP ♥️ pic.twitter.com/9p3Ga9p6y7
— Ray Bernoties (Police Chief – Oak Bay Police Dept) (@ray_oak) October 21, 2020
Oak Bay Police Chief Ray Bernoties passed the gathering on Wednesday, sharing his respects on social media.
“While patrolling for our [break-and-enter] suspects, I came across this moving tribute,” Bernoties said. “A large gathering of arborists & crews gathered at the scene of y’days [sic] tragic incident. I avoided the area but wanted to share this from a distance as it shows how we all have our own communities. RIP.”
It took investigators hours to analyze and unpack the scene of the death due to branches that had fallen on wires above. The body of the deceased man could not be moved until the wires were cleared.
It’s understood that the crew was contracted to remove a Garry oak and when the man was killed.
“My condolences to his family, friends, and coworkers,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “I can only imagine what a shock this must be for them. No one should ever die that young.”
Saanich Police Det. Chris Horsley is leading the investigation through the joint service agreement with the Oak Bay Police.
“What transpired to actually cause the accident is still under investigation,” Horsley said.
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