Gilroy man dies in tree-clearing accident

A Gilroy man died Monday when an oak tree fell on top of him and crushed him while he was on the job cutting the tree down in a private Los Gatos yard.

Francisco Javier Meza-Diaz, 61, was pronounced dead on the scene at 1 p.m. Monday after attempting to cut a tree – 18 inches in diameter – down on Quarry Road on the south end of town. His work partner, a 23-year-old San Jose man, suffered injuries and was taken to Valley Medical Center, according to Los Gatos Sgt. Kerry Harris.

Harris said that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating any possible occupational hazards related to the death.

“Sadly this should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone who is cutting down trees,” Harris said.

The tree, which grew on a steep hillside, was already leaning when Meza-Diaz was hired to cut it down, Harris said. 

Harris did not know the name of Meza-Diaz’ employer. 

Leave your comments