Man killed in logging accident in Caldwell County identified

James Wilson "Willie" Coffey Jr. (Credit: Family)
James Wilson "Willie" Coffey Jr. (Credit: Family)

CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV ) - A 51-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on him in a logging accident in Caldwell County Monday morning.

According to the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office, the incident happened around 10:30 a.m. along Setzers Creek Road in Lenoir. Deputies said the man, identified as James Wilson Coffey Jr, was killed on a hillside while he was cutting down several trees. Investigators said one of the trees fell and he was struck and killed.

Investigators are still looking into what happened but say it was just a tragic accident. When the tree fell on Coffey, another co-worker tried to warn him.

"Started yelling at him to get out of the way," said Sheriff's Lt. Shelly Hartley.

The warning, though, was in vain she said.

"He couldn't hear his co-worker over the noise of the equipment," Hartley said.

In addition to sheriff's investigators looking into what happened, state workplace safety officials are expected to do so as well.

Family members say Coffey, also known as "Willie," was a fourth-generation logger.

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