Police: Man killed by wood chipper was pulled in by jacket being caught

A 48-year-old man was fatally injured in an accident with a wood chipper on Tuesday morning in West Bloomfield.

Police said the man was working in a crew of three people on Champlain Circle near Middlebelt and Lone Pine roads around 9 a.m. when an unknown part of his body got stuck in the chipper.

"(We received a 911 call) from an individual that said his co-worker had been found inside of a wood chipper," said Deputy Chief Curt Lawson, West Bloomfield Police Department. "They were able to provide first aid to the individual who was, at the time, conscious."

Paramedics transported the man to a nearby hospital, but he died en route.

There is an open investigation by police and a separate investigation is being conducted by officials from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration to find out what led up to this tragic incident.

"Every indication at this point is that his jacket may have been caught on a branch that was being fed into the wood chipper," Lawson said.

It’s unclear if the equipment the worker was using had malfunctioned.

"We’ve taken an extensive amount of pictures of the equipment to make sure it was operating the way it should have been operating," he said. "We’ve interviewed everyone who was at the scene."

Police won’t release the name of the company and the name of the 48-year-old worker is also not being released at this time. They have said he was part of a crew working at a private home on this street.

Police say it’s difficult for their officers on the scene of a tragedy like this one

"It’s something you can’t prepare yourself for and those officers you know we have a peer support program here," Lawson said. "We have individuals for them to talk to. And we also debrief that incident because we have to make sure our officers' mental health is a priority for us."

Police are also providing condolences to the family of the victim and the victim’s co-workers.

"Our hearts go out to the workers on the scene and of course the victim's family," Lawson said.