Broward News

Man Who Died in Davie Wood Chipper Accident Is Identified

Yesterday afternoon, police identified the man killed in a gruesome and harrowing wood chipper accident in Davie. Hernan Gutierrez, 42, was with two coworkers on Monday feeding tree limbs and branches into the wood chipper when, according to police, he either fell into or was pulled into the industrial-sized machine.

Neither of the other men saw it.

One was a good distance away, preoccupied with a chain saw, and the other was in the process of taking branches to the wood chipper. When he got close to the machine and looked up, Gutierrez was gone, according to Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle.

That man took off yelling for help, according to a nearby neighbor who spoke with the Sun Sentinel.

"He was obviously extremely distraught, yelling and flailing his arms around, screaming," Cheryl Appel said.

Gutierrez was last known to be living in Hallandale Beach, and he worked for Tree Techs Inc., of Pembroke Pines, according to police.

The work the men were doing began that Monday involved trimming palms and melaleuca trees along SW 57th Avenue, according to the Sentinel.

The management agent of Federation Gardens, the apartment building where the incident occurred, described the work as "something we do every June before hurricane season."

"As a cop, I've seen horrific things," Engle said Tuesday. "But to see what the machine could do to a human being... This is not something you see every day or something you forget easily."

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Ryan Cortes