Falling limb strikes, kills Carroll County roads worker

April 15, 2004|By Athima Chansanchai and Hanah Cho | Athima Chansanchai and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF

A Carroll County roads operations employee was killed on the job yesterday when a falling tree limb struck him on the head, state police said.

Charles Edward Olinger Jr., 35, of Taneytown was hit on the head by a limb cut by another county worker while they were trimming trees in the area of Tyrone and Cross Section roads near Mayberry, said Cpl. Jeffrey Tanzola of the Westminster barracks.

State police responded to the accident about 9:30 a.m. Olinger was taken to Carroll Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities, who say Olinger was wearing a hard hat, have labeled the death an industrial accident.

The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Department and the county's Office of Risk Management are investigating Olinger's death.

County employees yesterday mourned the death of the 17-year veteran of Carroll's Bureau of Roads Operations. Olinger began working for the county as a laborer in 1987 and became a road equipment operator, said county Chief of Staff Steven D. Powell.

When the county commissioners heard the news yesterday morning, they spoke with Olinger's co-workers and offered their support, Powell said.

A grief counselor has been made available to county employees, he said.

"Right now, our focus is on expressing our deep sadness to the family," Powell said.

At county buildings, the Carroll flag will be flown at half-staff for three days, officials said.

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