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Falling tree branch kills Kirkland hunter in Lewis County, man identified | Update
A tree branch fell onto a tent and killed a 69-year-old hunter from Kirkland on Saturday in Lewis County.
Joseph R. Gardner died of multiple internal injuries, secondary to blunt force trauma to the head and chest, according to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office. The manner of death was accidental.
Gardner and an Edgewood man had just returned from a morning elk hunt and went back to their campsite at Cortright Creek Trailhead in Packwood, Wash. around 2:30 p.m., said Stacy Brown, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.
The two laid down in their large wall tent and 15 minutes later the top of an old-growth tree snapped and fell about 100 feet onto their tent, killing the Kirkland man, Brown said.
The Edgewood man ran to the next camp and several people responded to try and resuscitate the man; however, “it was apparent he was deceased,” Brown said, noting deputies where uncertain whether the windstorm that slammed Western Washington on Saturday may have caused the branch to snap.