Mitchell Co. residents respond to man’s death while cleaning storm debris

Mitchell Co. storm related death update

CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - People all across South Georgia are cleaning up storm debris in their yards.

Mitchell County Coroner Stedderick Thomas said David Douglas, 50, of Baconton died this weekend while doing just that.

According to Thomas, Douglas was cleaning debris off his families property after Hurricane Michael when he cut a tree that fell on him.

On Monday, people said that accidents happen too often while cleaning debris, but this death makes them more cautious.

Five days after Hurricane Michael left the city of Camilla in ruins, Greg Gains cranked up his chainsaw and got to work.

Greg Gains. (Source: WALB)
Greg Gains. (Source: WALB)

“I’m just doing little small stuff so we can get some kind of progress going,” said Gains.

Which was similar to what Douglas was doing when the Mitchell County EMA director said he was injured in an accident while cleaning up storm debris.

“I’m more aware of how I use my chainsaw since I heard about the accident," said Gains.

Officials said Douglas was using a chainsaw and died as a result of his injuries.

Rodney Spicer, who has been helping with clean up in the city, said people need to asses the location before cleaning up.

“Well if you’re walking under trees, you have to look to see if there’s any broken branches that could possibly fall on top of you,” explained Spicer.

Gains said that’s something that is easy to miss.

“A lot of times when I’m out now, I could be pulling a limb down from here but don’t realize that limb is also holding the one that’s up,” Gains explained.

Both Gains and Spicer said it is a dangerous job.

“You can’t be too cautious in cleaning debris. You have to be cautious at all times,” said Spicer.

“Just stay aware of what you’re doing because a lot of times you get hectic, it gets hot out here, you get the stuff situated and accidents happen so easily. That’s why they are called accidents,” said Gains.

They also said that you need to know your limits.

“I cut down a few trees but those large trees, I let the professionals do. I know what I can handle and I know what I cannot handle,” said Gains.

Thomas has ruled Douglas' death an accident.

Officials ask that residents be extra careful when cleaning debris.

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