Skidder accident claims logger Leo Smih

 


Longtime resident Leo Smith died Tuesday at an Anchorage hospital.

Smith, 89, was injured while operating a piece of logging equipment on Beach Road Nov. 15. He suffered severe head trauma and was admitted to Providence Alaska Medical Center’s intensive care unit, son Andy Smith said.

Morgan Knutson, who was helping Smith at the time of the accident, said he believed the engine of Smith’s 518 Cat skidder stalled as he was backing the vehicle and an attached boat trailer down a hill leading to Beach Road Extension around 12:30 p.m.

Without power, the machine lost steering, veering into a ditch on the road’s south side, Knutson said. As the machine tumbled, Smith apparently hit his head on a panel behind the seat, Knutson said.

Smith was a lifelong logger and equipment operator who sold bundles of firewood to campers from the porch of his Fort Seward trailer home.

At the time of the accident, he was taking the trailer to the harbor to bring ashore a fishing boat. He had recently used the skidder to pull out other boats, Knutson said.

Smith participated in the Southeast Alaska State Fair logging show for decades. He was recently featured in a newspaper story about World War II veterans who made a summer trip to Washington, D.C.

Andy Smith said cards and letters can be mailed to the family at P.O. Box 294, Haines, 99827.

A full obituary and additional details for services will be published in an upcoming CVN.


 
 

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