Logger in intensive care after falling tree strikes his head

Aaron O'Grady, 23, of Kerby remained in the intensive care unit of Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford Monday after a logging accident Friday west of Merlin fractured his skull.

Asante spokesman Grant Walker said Monday evening O'Grady was in critical condition.

O'Grady's wife, Brittanie, said her husband is a 2008 graduate of Illinois Valley High School. The couple have two daughters, Aurora, 3, and Alexa, 1.

Brittanie and Aaron's mother, Laura O'Grady, contacted the Daily Courier on Sunday. "We wanted to call, so the community knows who to pray for," Brittanie said.

Laura said her son underwent two surgeries. Blood was drained from his skull and a clot was removed.

"He had a lot of swelling," she said. "He had bruising to the side of the head. He started to get better today. They actually inserted a machine into his brain so it could relieve pressure."

Brittanie said it was important to keep swelling down, to prevent damage. She said the family "probably won't know for weeks or months" the extent of the trauma. A CAT scan has been done on Aaron's neck, and an MRI was scheduled to get a view of any internal damage.

Aaron was working for Gyppo Logging at the time of the accident, Brittanie said.

She said her husband was injured when a log being pulled up a mountain by a cable knocked a tree over, which knocked another tree over, striking Aaron.

He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, she said.

The accident occurred around noon Friday about 10 miles up Hog Creek Road, according to Rural/Metro Fire Department. Aaron lay unconscious about 300 to 400 feet down the side of a mountain when rescue crews were alerted.

By the time Rural/Metro crews arrived, the logging crew had managed to pull him up to a landing area. The logging crew also helped to clear an area for a Mercy Flights helicopter to land and take him to Medford.

"The crew did a really good job of getting him out of there," Brittanie said.

Rescue crews from Grants Pass Fire and Rescue and American Medical Response assisted.

Reach Grants Pass Daily Courier reporter Shaun Hall at 541-474-3813 or shall@thedailycourier.com.

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