Richland Co. Sheriff: Dubuque man dead in logging accident

Police lights and cut timber graphic.
Police lights and cut timber graphic.(WLUC)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 3:08 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A man is dead after he was struck in the head while working on a log skidder, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office reports Thursday.

Dispatchers were told just after 5 p.m. Wednesday that a man was involved in a logging accident near County Highway OO. A witness told officials that they were working on a log skidder when its hydraulic line broke. The victim was struck in the face, causing him to become unresponsive. He became wedged along the tire and the engine compartment of the log skidder, according to the sheriff’s office.

First responders pulled the victim off of the log skidder and EMS officials started to treat him. The man was taken to Richland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The sheriff’s office identified the victim as 54-year-old Joseph Abitz, of Dubuque.

Authorities determined that Abitz had been hydraulic accumulators. The sheriff’s office said he did not know that one of the accumulators was still under pressure, causing it to come loose and hit the victim in the face while he was attempting to remove it.

Muscoda EMS, Fire and EMS all responded to the scene, as well as Avoca Police.

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