Man killed in fall from tree

Published 7:24 am Wednesday, October 21, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Family and friends are mourning a “great husband and great daddy” after a Brewton resident was killed Sunday night in a hunting accident in east Escambia County.
Wayland “Todd” Burgess, 38, apparently fell 15 feet from his tree stand while hunting in the woods near Hoomesville Church in the Damascus area, said Maj. John Gleaton of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department. A medical examiner’s report showed Burgess died of blunt trauma to the head and neck, Gleaton said.
The pin holding the stand to the tree had slipped out, Gleaton said.
Burgess, a Jay, Fla., native and father of two girls, was “the nicest person you could ever meet,” said his wife of two years, Carrie.
The Burgesses had recently started attending a new church last spring and rededicated their lives to God, Carrie said.
Burgess was an avid hunter and a huge Alabama fan, his wife said.
Family friend Rebecca Anthony said Burgess will be greatly missed in their circle of friends.
In addition to his wife, Burgess is survived by daughters Katherine Brynn, 7, and Emily Nicole, 16 months; and parents Jerry and Louise Burgess, among other relatives.
He was a member of Cornerstone Christian Church and employed with Schlumburger Oil. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Jay First Assembly of God.
Burgess’ death marks the second such accident this year, Gleaton said. Another hunter was paralyzed after a similar accident this season.
Gleaton urged all hunters to make sure their equipment is safe. Newer tree stands have more pins to secure the stand to the tree, he said, and some older models have even been recalled because of safety issues.
Hunters should contact the manufacturers of their tree stands to make sure they have not been recalled, he said.
A fund for Burgess’ children has been established at Santa Rosa Federal Credit Union.

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