Neighbors help free man trapped by fallen branch

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of neighbors came together to help free a man who was trapped by a fallen branch Saturday afternoon.

Just before 1 p.m., emergency crews were called out to the 2200 block of Francis Ave SE.

A man's neighbors helped lift the tree branch that was on him so he could escape (April 19, 2014).
A man’s neighbors helped lift the tree branch that was on him so he could escape (April 19, 2014).

A large branch had snapped from a tree and landed on a man who was in his backyard.

“We heard a big crack; we looked over and a big tree branch just fell down and all I could see was my neighbor underneath the branches,” neighbor Adam McNeely told 24 Hour News 8. “I’m actually deaf, you know hard of hearing, but I could hear a big crack.”

“I immediately jumped over the fence, took action and started picking up the branch. My neighbor’s legs were pinned in so many different directions . It took us quite a while to get him out.”

Together with other neighbors, they tried to lift the branch off the man, but it was too heavy. With the help of several GRPD officers, a group of 6-8 people were able to lift up the branch and get the victim out.

The man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say he is currently recovering and doing OK.

While thinking about it afterwards, McNeely says he just jumped into action after hearing the noise. He didn’t need to think about it.

Adam McNeely (April 19, 2014)
Adam McNeely (April 19, 2014)

“To be honest, I hadn’t thought about it; I could only think about trying to get that branch off my neighbor. When I think about it now, if you look at that branch that split, that’s probably what saved him anyways because if that branch hadn’t split, it probably would’ve killed him.”

When asked if there was anything he wanted to say to his neighbor, McNeely replied: “He’s pretty damn lucky. Lee, I hope you pull through.”


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