Geraint was a chainsaw operator working in Timber Harvesting in south Wales. He was killed at work when he felled a tree that had a second tree leaning against it. As he felled the tree, the second tree fell and struck him. He was killed instantly. This is an account of the incident by his partner, Steph.
It was like any other morning. Geraint went to work and I received my normal lunch-time phone call from him to say how he was, not realising that was the last time I was going to hear his voice.
I had a phone call from the girlfriend of Geraint's work colleague Andrew. Nobody had my number so she managed to go home and find it on a piece of paper that I had given them. She rang to say that there had been an accident involving Geraint so I immediately drove to the scene.
I took one look at Andrew and I could tell it wasn't good news. The policeman came over to speak to me and he said those words that you never want to hear. He said "I'm so sorry" and I just said "please no" and then the shock kicked in.
"Please make sure you get home to your families and loved ones"
It took hours for the emergency services to bring Geraint to be identified. The policeman offered to ring the family but I felt it would be more meaningful if it came from me.
I started with Geraint's eldest brother who was like a dad to him. I asked if he would go over and sit with his mother while the news was being broken. I then told his daughter who was screaming down the phone telling me it was a sick joke and I had to say "sorry it's not". Next, I rung his eldest son who was in Spain at the time and he just went quiet. I then rang the mother of his nine-year-old son and she had to break the news to that poor little guy – they immediately came home from their camping trip – I then explained to him that "your daddy's in the sky now, he's one of the stars and he's going to be watching over us."
In an instant my life turned dark and I lost my purpose. We were due to fly to America to do Route 66; we planned to get married at the Grand Canyon yet I found myself arranging his funeral instead. This is everyone's worst nightmare. Since the accident I have got through each day as best I can. Part of me still expects Geraint to walk through the door and I will wake up from this nightmare. People tell me time is a great healer but I'm just trying to learn to live with the grief and pain knowing I will never see him again. We have had a lot of support from family and friends which has helped.
Geraint was a loveable guy. A lot of people came to show their respects after the accident. I have never seen so many grown men cry over him and I just don't think he knew how many people really loved him.
I would like to say to other chainsaw operators that safety plays a massive part in your role. Be aware of your surroundings and the consequences your actions may have on yourself and/or others. Analyse the situation you are in, don't rush anything... STOP and THINK!
We all think this will not happen to us, but it can! Please make sure you get home to your families and loved ones.
In memory of Geraint - RIP my Very Special Man. Steph
You can also watch Steph's account of the incident here: https://youtu.be/24ILxBXPa38
Posted: 8/24/2016 3:37:15 PM