RICHFIELD, Minn. (KMSP) - A Minnesota man died while trimming trees in Richfield when a metal piece of a wood shredder flew off the machine and struck him in the back of his head, according to witnesses who were there at the time of the incident.
Police tape surrounded the scene near the intersection of 70th Street and James Avenue South where the incident occurred, a pile of wood still laying next to the broken wood chipper as coworkers and others gathered there attempted to digest what had just happened.
The man who died was identified by family as 51-year-old Bill Pipes, a relatively new employee of Victory Tree Service who was just finishing up a two-day job in the residential Richfield neighborhood at the time of the accident.
“Apparently something blew up today, one of the knives came out and hit that shroud, which hit him in the back of the head, which killed him,” said Bill's brother, Tom Pipes.
His brother said Pipes was a man of faith who enjoyed working outside with his friends. He leaves behind six adult children.
“He lived a hard life but God kept delivering and opening new doors to him," said Tom Pipes. "But he was just a little bit wild, and he rushed things through.”