April 28, 2010 EMMETT TWP. — A tree cutting accident on Wed., April 28, claimed the life of a St. Clair County jail inmate on work duty.
According to a press release from the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, 42 year-old James Dudley died at Port Huron Hospital approximately one hour after he was struck in the head by a falling tree.
Spokesperson Steve Campau said four jail inmates were clearing trees from the Emmett Drain near Keegan and Brandon roads as part of a project for the county's drain commission office around 8:30 a.m.
According to witnesses at the scene, one tree was cut down and struck a second tree as it fell. A third tree then fell in the opposite direction of the cut tree, striking Dudley. The third tree was apparently rotted.
The Emmett Township Fire Department and Tri-Hospital EMS responded to and assisted on scene.
"This is a tragic accident, said Sheriff Tim Donnellon. "We are currently investigating the cause. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Dudley's family."
According to Campau, Dudley was serving a 90 day sentence at the county's Intervention and Detention Center for a traffic related offense.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.