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Chainsaw goes through tree climber's neck


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Chainsaw goes through tree climber's neck

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Apr 2, 2014

Adler Tree Service employee James Valentine, 21, of Gibsonia, Pa., was climbing up a tree when his chainsaw somehow malfunctioned and impaled him. The blade lodged itself into Valentine's neck and shoulder. 

Valentine never lost consciousness. He was able to climb back down the tree and hold the saw in place as he turned off the motor himself.

“It was just a freak accident. It could happen to anybody climbing a tree,” Valentine tells CBS Pittsburgh. “The chainsaw came back at me and got stuck in my neck.”

The blade was left inside Valentine's body to keep him from bleeding to death. Surgeons at Allegheny General Hospital removed it. “He was not critically injured. He was awake and talking to us when he came in,” one of his doctors tells CBS Pittsburgh. “We took the chainsaw out and there was no bleeding.”

The blade unbelievably went into Valentine's muscle instead of hitting his major arteries. This tree climber was released from the hospital with only stitches. 

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.