EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 26, 2012

Man killed when pinned under tree branch is identified

By Bill Cantwell
bcantwell@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — Investigators have released the name of the man who was killed when he was pinned under a large tree branch Monday.

This morning, the district attorney's office identified the victim as Merle Wilbur IV, 32, of Hampton, N.H.

Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said Wilbur was performing commercial tree work at a home when a tree limb broke, causing him to fall about 15 feet to the ground before the limb landed on top of him.

Investigators refused to release the victim's name until this morning, saying they needed to be sure his relatives were notified first.

The accident happened just after 1:30 p.m. in the yard of a home at 133 North Ave. Wilbur was taken to Lawrence General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:57 p.m., Kimball-Monahan said. His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston for an autopsy. Those results are pending.

A complete report will appear in Thursday's Eagle-Tribune.