School grounds chief injured in fall from tree

November 2, 1995 (~estimated)

School grounds chief injured in fall from tree

By Laurie Lynn Strasser

Staff Writer

The grounds supervisor for the Princeton Regional School District was listed in stable condition Monday night after falling from an ash tree behind Community Park School.

Leading a five-man crew. Michael Hendrickson. 46, was standing in the tree at 11:23 a.m. Mon-day. pruning branches to make way for a new fence and wider sidewalk when the accident occurred.

“He was up in the tree about seven feet off the ground cutting limbs with a chain saw.” Princeton Township Police Lt. Mario Musso said.

“A limb split and broke off, struck him in the chest, threw him against the tree and caused him to become airborne. He went five feet higher and did a flip in the air. As he came down, he hit the bucket of the backhoe and landed on the ground.” Lt. Musso said.

“It was almost a see-saw action.” Sgt. Mark Emann said describing the motion of the branch.

A defect along the core of the branch probably caused it to split prematurely, Princeton Township Engineer Robert Kiser said.

“He is a very skilled and knowledgeable person.” he said. He previously worked for a tree-trimming outfit.”

Mr. Hendrickson, who complained of severe chest pain, was conscious as rescue workers administered oxygen. He was told to remain still, loaded into an ambulance and driven to a field where a helicopter flew him to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Listed in stable condition, he was “doing good” Monday night, sixth floor nurse Jackie Reese said.

“He had internal injuries,” Lt. Musso said. “We don’t know to what extent.”


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