A tree trimmer trimmed off a little more than he planned to Wednesday afternoon when he accidentally sawed into his foot with a chain saw.
Angel Abalo, 31, of Phoenix, was clearing brush with 20 other crew members from the Asplundh Tree Expert Company south of Payson on Forest Road 208, said Gila County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Craig Smith.
The crew was clearing brush from underneath power poles for Arizona Public Service several miles south of the Jim Jones Shooting Range. The area is extremely remote because of the poor road conditions, Smith said.
Around 11:20 a.m., the sheriff’s office received a call from an Asplundh crew member that Abalo, who was working down in a ravine, had accidentally sawed his left foot with a chain saw.
Workers were able to carry Abalo out of the ravine, but it took officers awhile to get to him because of the location.
When Smith arrived, Abalo was in and out of consciousness. Smith placed him in the back of his cruiser and took him to a clearing where a Native Air helicopter could pick him up.
“Every little bump I hit he was screaming,” Smith said.
When the helicopter arrived around 1 p.m., paramedics gave Abalo pain medicine and then removed the boot, which Smith said was blood soaked.
Smith said Abalo’s foot or toes did not appear to be cut off, but severely injured. Abalo was flown to a Valley hospital.
Smith cleared the call around 2 p.m. after taking another hour to traverse the rough roads back to Highway 87.