Heavy Equipment Operator Injured In Accident

A heavy equipment operator was injured in an accident Wednesday morning in the Town of Smithfield.

Around 11:40am, a man was operating a large John Deere excavator clearing trees from a lot in the 800 block of West Street in East Smithfield.  While attempting to remove a large tree it fell onto the cab of the excavator pinning the man inside.

The Smithfield Fire Department summoned a backhoe from the public works department to stabilize the tree while firefighters cut metal away from the cab to remove the victim.

After working for about 35 minutes the victim was freed from the crushed cab and taken to an awaiting ambulance before being rushed to the trauma center at Wake Med in Raleigh. The name of the man was not released.

Emergency crews had called for a Life Flight helicopter to respond but cancelled the helicopter before it arrived.

The Smithfield Police Department also responded to the scene.  JoCoFire.com Photo