By Stephanie Schendel / The (Centralia) Chronicle
A 69-year-old Kirkland man was killed after part of a tree fell on him Saturday afternoon at an elk hunting camp in Packwood, Lewis County.
Joseph Gardner and his hunting partner had returned to the camp at the Cortright Creek Trailhead off of Forest Road 45 near Packwood at about 2:30 p.m., said Chief Deputy Stacy Brown of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
About 15 minutes later, a 20-foot section of an old-growth tree snapped off and fell about 100 feet onto their tent, Brown said. The tree struck Gardner on the head, causing fatal injuries. It missed the other hunter by inches.
The hunter who was not hit was able to crawl through the debris to find his hunting partner, Brown said. CPR was attempted for several minutes, however, it was apparent Gardner was dead, he said.