BURNING FORK – A fatal logging accident was discovered after the man didn’t come out of the operation at his normal time, with friends and acquaintances finding that he had been struck by a fallen tree.
On Jim Arnett Branch, off of Burning Fork, rescue and EMS crews were called on December 28 to a logging site, climbing the hill where the Floyd County man’s body was discovered.
Magoffin County Deputy Coroner Brian Parker told Mortimer Media Group, “Magoffin County Dispatch contacted the Magoffin County Coroner’s office a little after 8 p.m. [on December 28] of a possible logging accident. Upon arrival, the body of Wendall Lee Gilliam, 57 years old, of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, was pronounced dead by the Magoffin County Coroner’s office. Mr. Gilliam was just doing some personal logging, cutting out of a tree in front of him, and there was an uprooted tree behind him that actually got loose upon the dropping of the first tree and fell down. Mr. Gilliam sustained multiple skeletal and visceral injuries that lead to his death.”
Parker also said that Gilliam was considered a very experienced logger. He was discovered by friends or acquaintances several hours after he should have been out of the operation, noting that he usually left around 4 or 5 p.m. They noticed his truck was still there, so they started searching for him, eventually finding him under the tree that hit him.