Photo by Patrick Mulvihill
LIFE FLIGHT crew joins local fire and EMS officials in lifting an injured Washington man onto a helicopter at the old Dee mill site Thursday afternoon. The patient suffered head injuries in a logging accident that morning.
As of Friday, February 26, 2016
A Glenwood, Wash., man was severely injured in a logging accident Thursday near Dee.
Daniel Davis, 22, a crew member with M&M Excavation, suffered head trauma when a heavy tree limb crashed down on his head at a worksite along forested Lost Lake Road, about 2.5 miles from the Dee Highway intersection.
Davis was in critical condition at a Portland hospital as of Friday morning.
Hood River County emergency officials declared it a close call that Davis didn’t die at the accident scene.
Davis was a choker setter for an excavation crew clearing roadside trees for Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. His role was to fasten cables around logs that were lifted up from the timber cutting area.
On Thursday morning, the M&M crew was finishing up their job. The patch of timber along Lost Lake Road was almost completely knocked down.
Sometime around 10 a.m. — when Davis was standing in the work zone, about 75 feet downhill from the highway bank — a fragment of tree screamed down on his head.
Life Flight helicopter taking off from the old Dee mill site
A Life Flight helicopter takes off from the old Dee mill site. It was taking a man injured in a suspected logging accident to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland
Shortly after 10:15 a.m., Hood River County 9-1-1 dispatchers heard reports of a man hit on the head with a log. He reportedly showed signs of facial bleeding, a large bump on the head and difficulty breathing, with what a dispatcher called a “definite skull fracture.”
Co-workers gave Davis CPR treatment, which may have saved his life.
“If it weren’t for those guys, he probably wouldn’t have made it,” said Parkdale Fire Chief Mike McCafferty.
By the time emergency crews arrived, Davis was “gasping” in breaths 3-5 seconds apart.
Davis was still lying in the ravine where he had been struck, so crews used cables and log-ties to pull him onto the roadway, where the ambulance had parked.
Medics called in a Life Flight Network helicopter from Dalles-
port, Wash. It landed at 10:56 a.m. on a bare batch of land near the old Dee Mill site. A pilot, nurse and paramedic stepped out to await the patient.
A Hood River Fire ambulance roared in from Lost Lake Road, carrying Davis.
Local EMS crews and the Life Flight trio helped pack Davis onto a stretcher with an attached breathing apparatus, and then lifted him into the helicopter. With a blast of dust, the helicopter touched off the ground and cut north.
The pilot flew Davis to the neuro-intensive care unit at Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland.
McCafferty said the hospital reported Thursday night the man was in a medically induced coma in the neuro-intensive care unit.
A hospital official said Friday morning Davis’ vital signs were stable, but he was classified in critical condition.
Hood River Fire, West Side Fire, Parkdale Fire, Wy’East Fire, Hood River County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Forest Law Enforcement made up the Dee emergency response team. Parkdale led the EMS investigation.
McCafferty called it a “combined effort” that worked smoothly given the tense circumstances.