A tractor operator was trapped and injured Tuesday when a large tree toppled onto his rig while he was moving debris, culminating in a rescue operation during which he was safely extricated.
The emergency was reported about 11:40 a.m. near the intersection of Huntington and Washington streets, according to the Riverside Fire Department.
Initial reports indicated that a man was trapped under a 100-foot-long pipe, but when firefighters reached the scene 10 minutes later, they discovered it was a tree, roughly 5 feet in width.
Crews found the tractor driver trapped in the cab of the vehicle, unable to slide out because he was tangled in branches, according to reports from the scene.
Riverside Fire Division Chief Dave Bakas told City News Service that the man was apparently moving waste piles or other debris when the large tree came tumbling down.
“After it fell, he couldn’t get out of the tractor,” Bakas said.
Firefighters spent roughly 15 minutes cutting tree limbs and removing other obstructions to free the victim, who suffered minor injuries.
He was taken to Riverside Community Hospital for treatment.
The rescue operation concluded at about 12:20 p.m.
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