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Killer Wood Chipper Accident…Teen Dies in Virginia Mauled By Machine

A work related accident has taken the life of a young man in Virginia. Unfortunetly, it happens far too often,as many workers have been mangled by unregulated, and lethal wood chippers.

Landscape trailers, chipper trailers, have no regulations and are not inspected like a vehicle is. The state requires inspections only for trailers weighing more than 3,000 pounds.

State and federal authorities will investigate the death of the high school freshman,Frank Gornik, who was killed in an accident involving a wood chipper.

Poquoson police say Frank Gornik was part of a three-person crew working to remove tree limbs and debris from a home. Frank Anthony Gornik, 14, of Smith Street, was working for Old Dominion Tree and Lawn Care at the time of his death.


In Loving Memory of Frank Gornick

In loving memory of Fank Gornik

Gornick and two other men were removing storm debris from a Poquoson residence when Gornick, who apparently was using a shovel to push debris into a commercial wood chipper, was pulled into the machine and killed.

The wood chipper is designed to grab,pull, and grate large wood objects,usually tree limbs and branches, and slices them up into fine granulated chips.

 The operator is not supposed to stand close the opening of the chipper, and definitely one should let go of any object one is holding on to, if at all possible, if it gets caught in the pulling system of the wood chipper.

When this is not done, tragic results will happen.

Ron Melancon runs the Web site, devoted to increasing regulation of small trailers, including wood chippers. Melancon noticed there are few rules when it comes to operating a wood chipper.

The law says anyone over 18 can do it without a license and without formal training. OSHA regulates wood chippers but only after a complaint or a fatality…

.…Now they can start to investigate this complaint, since a death has occurred.

The Department of Labor and Industry inspects landscaping workplaces, but not specific machinery such as a wood chipper.Poquoson Police Chief Cliff Bowen said the investigation into the incident is proceeding, but there was no new information available.

 A memorial service for Gornik was held at 1 p.m. on Friday at the Tabernacle United Methodist Church, 831 Poquoson Ave.

A charitable fund has also been established in Gornik’s memory by Wanda Hendron, owner of a Newport News tree service. Donations to Gornik’s family may be made, in care of Wanda Hendron, at any Old Point National Bank branch in Hampton Roads, a bank spokeswoman said.

Grief counselors will be available for students at local schools starting on Monday.

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I send my condolences to the family of Frank Gornik…may he rest in peace, and live forever in your hearts.

One Response to “Killer Wood Chipper Accident…Teen Dies in Virginia Mauled By Machine”

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