2nd UPDATE — Fatal logging accident killing Port Angeles man one of three in Northwest in one week

COYLE –– A logger killed by a falling tree off Coyle Road last week was a 23-year-old Port Angeles man.

Emergency officials Friday identified the logger killed Thursday as Jeremy Paapke.

Quilcene Deputy Fire Chief Bob Moser said Paapke was falling trees with a crew on a sloped hillside when a nearby tree fell, striking him with large limb.

Paapke’s co-workers carried him up the hill where rescue workers from the Quilcene and Port Ludlow fire departments and East Jefferson Fire-Rescue administered CPR for about 45 minutes before Paapke was pronounced dead at 1:39 p.m.

Moser said it appeared Paapke died quickly after being struck in the head.

A helicopter from Airlift Northwest standing by at Zelatched Point to airlift the logger to Harborvew Medical Center in Seattle was then released.

Moser was unsure who employed Paapke.

Elaine Fischer, spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor and Industries, said Friday an inspector from her agency was evaluating the job site.

Paapke was the third Washington state logger to die on a work site last week, according to Fischer.

Donald J. Wolcott, 61, of Cathlamet died Wednesday after a tree he was cutting on land owned by Weyerhauser in Columbia County fell, struck him and pinned him to the ground.

Another Washington state logger was killed while falling timber in Oregon on Wednesday, Fischer said.

Six loggers have died while working in the state this year, an unusually high number, she said.

All but Paapke were killed while working in Lewis County, including 18-year-old Cole Bostwick, one of the youngest loggers killed while working, and 68-year-old John Leonard, one of the oldest to die.

In the past decade, 28 people statewide have died logging, an average of just over two people per year.

Fischer noted that the survival rate of loggers who have been badly hurt has increased over the years.

“We’ve had lots of serious injuries that don’t end up in deaths anymore because of the ability to get choppered to Harborview,” Fischer said.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

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