The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be hard for anybody. Coming off of one major holiday while preparing for a second can be stressful. At the same time, it can be one of the most dangerous parts of the year. Decorating for Christmas can lead to countless accidents including falls and electrocution. Recently, a tree trimmer in Kentucky lost his life when he fell into his wood chipper near a massive Christmas light display.
According to WEVV, a local news source, the incident took place early Monday evening, around 5 pm. Joseph “Joey” Wesley Manire of Crofton, Kentucky was doing some tree work in Owensboro’s Stonegate subdivision when he became “tangled” and fell partially into his wood chipper.
Manire was a contractor trimming trees at a private residence across the street from a popular Christmas light display. Some sources – including the New York Post – suggest that Manire became tangled in Christmas decorations before falling into the wood chipper. However, the original report from the local news doesn’t give many details.
According to reports, Manire fell “partially” into his wood chipper but do not specify how he landed or from how high he fell. We do know that the contractor did not survive his fall into the machine meant to grind tree limbs into mulch. Medical professionals pronounced Manire dead on the scene.
Local authorities are currently investigating the incident. However, they do not suspect foul play at this time.
Christmas Display Lights the Way After Wood Chipper Incident
Manire and his co-worker were across the street from The Lashbrook Family Christmas Light Display. The popular local display draws onlookers from around the area every year. Monday, the display’s organizers took to Facebook to warn people of congested travel in the area and to urge them to visit the display another night.
“Please be cautious and extra aware if you are traveling in our area tonight,” the post reads. “There has been an accident concerning a landscaping business across the street from our display. Local authorities have our neighborhood blocked off at the moment.”
However, the Lashbrooks decided not to turn off their massive display for the night. Instead, they let their thousands of twinkling bulbs light the way for emergency personnel. “We have the lights on to help light the area for the first responders, but please plan to visit the display another night.”
The Lashbrook family has been lighting up the Stonegate neighborhood for over two decades. It all started with a few strands of lights and a handful of reindeer. This year’s display features more than 300,000 lights, multiple scenes, and three massive Christmas trees. Those trees include a 330-foot-tall blue spruce sporting more than 300,000 lights and a 40-foot-tall oak that sports lighted bells that dance to music.