Father of 2 dies after tree falls on him near Rayburn House building on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Tree falls on man near Rayburn House on Capitol Hill
A man has died after a large tree collapsed and fell on him near the Rayburn House office building on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning.
The man was identified as Matthew McClanahan, a pipefitter for the Architect of the Capitol and the father of two young children. Speaker Paul Ryan issued this statement regarding McClanahan's death on Tuesday:
A statement was also released Tuesday afternoon by the Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers regarding the tragic falling tree incident:
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Architect of the Capitol employee, Matthew McClanahan, following an accident on the U.S. Capitol Grounds. A large branch of an American Elm fell and struck Matt, who was working nearby on an irrigation pipe. Matt was a talented, dedicated pipefitter in the Maintenance Division of Capitol Grounds. Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
D.C. Fire and EMS crews removed McClanahan from the tree and transported him to an area hospital, where he was in critical condition, according to United States Capitol Police.
U.S. Capitol Police cleared the scene and grounds crews are inspecting the tree and are beginning efforts to remove the remaining portion of the tree.
The tree split at the trunk with a four foot diameter section tipping at ground level next to the sidewalk, according to Paul Courson, a Capitol Hill journalist with Sinclair Broadcast Group. The section of the tree is between 30 and 40 feet in length and fell across Independence Avenue nearly reaching the sidewalk at House Longworth, Courson continues.
Another loud cracking noise happened while Courson was there, he says. Crews are coming to the scene with pulldown ropes for the still standing section of the tree. Courson adds a crew with chain saws, a dump truck, and a front end loader with tree carrying clamps is also being used in the area.
The incident occurred on the corner of Independence Avenue and First Street, SE.
U.S. Capitol Police say Independence Avenue between Washington Avenue and First Street will be closed until further notice.
This story will be updated.