Local woman killed by falling tree

By Bill Colvard - bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

A local woman was killed in a freak accident while cutting trees on Hiatt Road Saturday morning.

“The 36-year-old female was standing beside a skidsteer being operated by her husband when a tree fell the wrong way,” said John Shelton, Surry emergency services director. “They were contractors clearing some trees on private property when the horrible accident happened. She had walked up there to get away from where the tree was expected to fall. It was clearly an accident.”

Shelton said the victim was Chrystal Hodges, of Lumber Plant Road in Lowgap. He estimated the accident to have occurred about 7:40 a.m. as it happened some distance from the house where 911 was called.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It’s dangerous work no matter how long you’ve been doing it,” said Shelton. “They do this all the time and are very familiar with the dangers. They’re well versed at it, but it was just one of those situations. It was a horrible accident. Gosh, I just hate it for the family.”

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Speaking off-hand without having his paperwork to back him up, Shelton said this might be the second fatal accident of the year.

In March two cars collided on Zephyr Road west of Dobson. Dobson resident Barry Lawrence Lowe and North Wilkesboro citizen Dustin Claude Rhodes both died from their injuries.

These incidents do not include accidental drug overdoses. Shelton said his EMS crews have run 208 calls already this year for overdoses. This is similar to the number of runs for all of 2017, with five months left in the year.

The number of deaths has declined from a year ago. After 55 fatal overdoses in 2017, only 18 have been recorded this year, despite the increase in calls.

Shelton said the increased use of Narcan to counteract the effects of opioids has helped with this.

Another factor in last year’s high rate of accidental deaths was fire; Shelton reported at the end of the year that 11 people died in a single year when some years have no fire deaths at all.


By Bill Colvard


Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.