Doctors were not able to successfully reattach an Encinitas man’s severed arm after a piece of equipment severed it Thursday in Fallbrook.
Volunteer rescuers launched a speedy effort to find CalTrans contractor Jason Giessow’s arm after the accident Friday at about 1 p.m.
His arm was launched 50 yards away from him when a cable became caught in brush-clearing machinery.
Rescuers with the San Diego County Search and Rescue located Giessow’s arm about an hour after the accident occurred, and sent it directly to Palomar hospital in ice and saline.
However Giessow’s arm could not be saved. He is in stable condition, though, according to coworker Judy Mitchell with the Mission Resource Conservation District, where Giessow was a private consultant.
“We’re all really traumatized,” said Mitchell, who added that the district’s small office staff of seven employees has known Giessow for many years, and he is like a family member to them.
Despite his condition, Giessow called the district’s office Friday morning to make sure another employee was okay. He told the employee that he was worried about her, and knew the accident must have been very traumatic.
“This is typical of him,” Mitchell said. “He has a tremendous character. We’re devastated that this would happen to him. He’s such a well-thought of person.”
Giessow was removing invasive plants from the side of Highway 76 as part of a CalTrans widening project.
“This incident could have taken his life, but it didn’t,” Mitchell said. “We’re just so grateful he’s alive.”