tree accident

BRISTOL, Va. — A man is dead after a tree trimming accident in Bristol, Virginia.

The accident happened shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday on Memphis Lane, which is in the Ketron community, according to Washington County, Virginia, Sheriff Fred Newman.

The victim, Thomas Gibson, 51, of New Tazewell, Tennessee, was climbing a tree and cutting the top portion of it when the tree suddenly snapped, falling back on Gibson and killing him.

Gibson was left suspended 40 to 50 feet off the ground after the tree snapped, according to Newman. It’s unclear why Gibson was in the area and what type of tree work he was doing.

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Southwest Region office, based in Roanoke, is also currently conducting its own investigation into the deadly accident, Newman added.

“Every employer shall report to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry within eight hours of any work-related incident resulting in a fatality,” according to code from state officials.

Gibson’s body has been taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke for an autopsy.

Gibson was also a registered sex offender in Tennessee, according to the state’s sexual offender registry. Online records show Gibson was accused of sexual battery by an authority figure in 2002.


BRISTOL, Va. -- We're learning new details about the man killed in an early morning tree trimming accident in Washington County, Virginia.

According to Washington County, Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman, the victim has been identified as Thomas Gibson, 51, of New Tazewell, Tennessee.

Gibson had apparently climbed a tree and was cutting the top portion when it snapped, falling back on him and killing him.

The body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke for an autopsy. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry is currently conducting an investigation into the accident.


BRISTOL, Va. -- A 50-year-old man is dead after an early morning tree trimming accident.

Multiple agencies remain on scene of the accident, which happened shortly after 10 a.m. on Memphis Lane in Bristol, Virginia, according to Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman.

Newman said in a news release that a call came in at approximately 9 a.m. in reference to a man involved in an accident while trimming a tree. Part of the tree snapped, leaving the man suspended 40 to 50-feet off the ground.

The victim's name has not been released pending notification of family members, Newman added. 

Stay with the Bristol Herald Courier for the latest on this developing story. 

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zirby@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2567 | facebook.com/ZachBHC | Twitter: @ZachBHC

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