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Coroner ID's Tree Worker Killed Monday on Rural Quarry Road in Los Gatos

Gilroy resident Francisco Javier Meza Diaz, 61, died during accident outside home located at 16860 Quarry Road in rural part of town.

has been identified as Francisco Javier Meza Diaz, 61, of Gilroy.

The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office, however, would not release the cause of death on Wednesday, saying that's only available to the public when the investigation into the accident is complete.

According to Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Sgt. spokesman Kerry Harris, Meza Diaz died when he and another worker were cutting down a tree for a private homeowner on Quarry Road and the tree fell on him killing him and trapping his body for hours before it could be retrieved.

The accident is said to have occurred at 12:57 p.m. Dispatch received a call regarding a tree that had fallen on the worker and by 1:15 p.m. it was determined that one of the workers had been injured and the other had died during the accident, Harris said.

The other worker, identified as a 23-year-old San Jose resident, received moderate injuries and was transported to Valley Medical Center, Harris said.

Late Monday afternoon, authorities worked hard to recover the victim's body with help from the Los Gatos Parks and Public Works personnel. "They were working on a steep hillside on Quarry Road," Harris said.

"It's not known at this time whether they even had a permit to cut down the tree," Harris noted.

Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said her agency is looking into the accident and were notified of the tragedy by the LGMSPD.

"We don't know the name of the employer at this time," Monterroza said. "But we do know these two workers were at a private residence cutting a tree down on a steep hill when the tree fell fatally injuring one employee and injuring another. That's the extent of what we know at this time. Our investigation is ongoing."

Monterroza added by statute CalOSHA has six months to complete the investigation.

A total four Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police officers responded to the accident as well as Santa Clara County Fire units.

The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office is on scene as well as a representative from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Harris added.

Marguerite Garth June 07, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Javier Diaz's sister in law visited the accident site on Wednesday. She described him as an extremely social family man who left his wife and 17 year old daughter. The family also included a 17 year old girl who's parents had been killed in an auto accident two hears ago. He had no experience with rural tree felling. He took this job to cut down 3-4 trees because he needed the money to pay for the 50th Birthday party he was planning for his wife. His daughter was a Daddy's Girl and the family is grieving greatly. She said also that the 23 year old has not been able to talk, as he goes into seizures when he tries., and he has internal injuries.
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Hi Marguerite, thank you so much for this information. It's greatly appreciated. Would you mind giving my contact information to the victim's sister so I can find out if we can do anything to help them either raise money for funeral expenses, etc.? Our hearts ache when we hear of these tragedies. Thank you.
Martha June 08, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Where exactly was the accident?
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Hi Martha, thanks for the question. According Patricia Ortiz, a spokeswoman for CalOSHA, the address of the accident is 16860 Quarry Road in Los Gatos. The details about the accident are still being investigated. That's all CalOSHA is saying at this time. Hope this helps.

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