Tilton man identified as victim of falling pine tree

LACONIA — Police yesterday identified the man who was struck and killed when high winds toppled a pine tree across Davidson Drive, near the boat club, at South Down Shores on Sunday afternoon as Paul Russell, 54, of Tilton.

According to a prepared statement, police officers and firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 4:13 p.m. where Officer Jonathan Howe found Russell, trapped beneath a large pine tree and covered with fallen limbs.  Fire Lieutenant Chad Vaillancourt said that firefighters cleared the limbs and debris only to find that Russell had already died from his injuries. He said that Russell, who was employed by Sonny and Sons Tree Service of Belmont, was working with another man to remove a pine tree that had fallen across the road when a second pine tree, standing near the first, snapped off about six feet above the ground and fell directly upon on him. Vaillancourt estimated the tree was approximately three feet in diameter.

Chet Cilley said that several of the villages at South Down Shores frequently hired Sonny and Sons Tree Service and the company was called when the tree blocked the roadway on Sunday.