Tree climber gets chainsaw embedded in neck

James Valentine was in a harness halfway up the tree along Perry Highway when the accident happened.

Doctors say the victim is very lucky because the chainsaw missed major arteries, and just cut into muscle.

ROSS TOWNSHIP, PA (KDKA) – A tree trimmer was seriously injured after being cut in the neck with a chainsaw Monday, and now we’re getting our first look at an X-ray of his injury.

Police say the 21-year-old James Valentine, from Adler Tree Service in Gibsonia, was in a tree in Ross Township when the accident happened.

Valentine was in a harness halfway up the tree along Perry Highway when the accident happened.

Police say something happened and the chainsaw blade partially embedded in his neck and shoulder area.

A co-worker climbed the tree and brought the man down. A doctor on the scene then stabilized the victim.

Valentine turned the saw off, held it in place and began climbing down the tree.

Police were able to get the motor off the chainsaw, but left the blade in the man’s neck to keep him from bleeding to death.

He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital and had surgery to remove the blade. Trauma surgeons expected the worst.

Doctors say the victim is very lucky because the chainsaw missed major arteries, and just cut into muscle.

Valentine had stitches and sutures to the neck, and is expected to make a full recovery.

As for his future, Valentine says, “I am a tree climber; that’s what I do.”


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