Man crushed by tree from high winds in Independence Township

Friday's high winds turned deadly for a man in Independence Township. 

He was doing landscaping work when a tree fell on him on his boss's property moving mulch and leaves. 

"It said 70 miles an hour but it felt like 100," said Scott Maass, who lives nearby. "It is tragic. I even told some of my friends to stay inside, it was scary."

Just before noon part of a tree broke away right behind a metal structure when the high winds proved fatal. The victim, 36, was killed when part of a tree fell on his back in the 4700 block of Rattek.

The force so strong investigators say his head was pushed into the levers of the machine he was using. Apparently the levers went through his head.

Independence Township is densely populated with trees. Every time there's rough weather and high winds there is the same fear.

"A lot of these older homes, some of the trees look like they haven't been touched for 40 years," Maass said. "I just cleared three this year from my yard. At one point we had 17 trees when I moved in five years ago. We are down to about 10 now to be safe. I have considered climbing up myself, but have a professional do it."