A 53-year-old woman lost her life in Võru county on Tuesday as she was hit by a cut tree in a forest near Augli village, Rõuge municipality, and died at the spot. According to Southern Police Prefecture, a 32-year-old man was doing the logging. Augli village head Silvi Luha said that the victim had been a local resident and her lifelong neighbor. “She was a nice woman, very helpful,” she said.
Rõuge municipality head Tiit Toots, who was on vacation starting from yesterday, heard about the incident the day before yesterday, but had no detailed information. He also knew the victim well. “We are a small community and everyone knows everyone else and we all are close. This accident was a coincidence of very bad factors,” he said.
Toots had no recollection of similar tragic accidents. “It sometimes happens during logging that someone cuts a tree and it falls in an unexpected way and causes an accident, but I have never heard of anyone hit by a tree while walking on a road,” he said.
When asked, whether the logging had been ordered by the local government, he answered that the local government manages the cemeteries and parks, where men are hired to cut dangerous trees, yet he was unable to specify, who was cutting trees in Augli on Tuesday.
Riita Serikova, assistant prosecutor of the Southern district prosecutor’s office, said that the police have initiated an inquiry to determine the circumstances according to the article of the penal code concerning homicide through negligence, which can be punished by prison sentence of up to three years.
“In the current stage of the procedure we can speculate that the death of the victim was caused by negligence during logging;” Serikova said.