Man killed in tree tragedy

August 16, 2016

A man who was helping to cut down a tree has been killed by the same tree he was helping to cut.

Melvin 'Wiggy' Smith, 32, of Ashly district, Glengoffe, St Catherine, was helping a

tree-cutter to cut down the tree, but a chainsaw which was being used ran out of gas. Smith used the opportunity to take a nap in his one-bedroom home located below a hill the tree was on, while the tree cutter went to get gas.

The police said while sleeping, Smith heard the tree crashing down and fled from his home, only to be hit and killed.

Kay-Ann Smith, his sister, said that she was the one who recognised that her brother was hurt after the tree fell, destroyed the house and damaged two motor cycles parked nearby. "Mi was calling him phone first and we not getting him, and when mi look down to the track is him dat me see fold up," Kay-Ann said.

She surmised that her brother was awoken by the sound of the falling tree, and in a dash to get out of the house was hit by branches. He suffered multiple injuries and later died. "When me see the tree drop pon the house, me scream out," she said.

Smith died leaving three children, ages six, three, and nine months old.

Kay-Ann said that in his last few hours, Melvin did his laundry, tended to his goat, and made a pot of chicken foot soup. It was when the skies opened up that he decided to go and get some sleep.

"The family is not taking it well. Nobody not eating, nobody not sleeping. Mi father him nuh stop cry from it happen. Him all go down a di mash-up house every minute and a call him. Him say a him best boy pickney. A me best bredda," said a tearful Dionne Harris, another sister.

Her last conversation with Melvin was on Saturday morning when they made plans to go to the river, cook, and have a good time. Those plans have now changed to plans for his funeral.

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