Woodchipper death ‘traumatic’
BRUCE Saunders was the 54-year-old man killed when he fell into a woodchipper at a Goomboorian property, near Gympie, on Sunday evening.
Mr Saunders from Bundaberg died instantly when became trapped in the machine while mulching branches.
Two friends, who were working alongside the 54-year-old, desperately tried to free him as he was pulled into the machine.
Gympie police Acting Inspector Paul Algie said the circumstances were horrific, but the incident was not being treated as suspicious.
The scene was one of the most harrowing he had come across in 16 years of policing.
“I went out there this morning to speak to officers from Brisbane and I’d have to say it’s one of the worst incident scenes I’ve ever seen,” Act Insp Algie said.
“There was nothing that could be done to save this gentleman.”
The three men had been using a hired woodchipper with a 15-inch blade, for the third weekend in a row, to help clear a woman’s driveway when the horrendous event unfolded at 7.40pm.
Act Insp Algie said police and emergency workers who responded to the emergency call were confronted with a very traumatic scene.
“(They were) obviously dealing with the distressed people that were there, but also trying to process what they uncovered there around the tree shredder,” he said.
They would be offered support services, Act Insp Algie said, while police work with forensic crash police and Workplace Safety Queensland.
The machine has been impounded by police and subject to a mechanical inspection, with results from specialist engineers not expected for at least a week.