Chula Vista

Tree Trimmer Killed While Working on 80-Foot Palm Tree Was Escondido Resident Who Loved His Job

It took firefighters about a half-hour to free the man's body from the fronds, Chula Vista Fire Department said

Erasmo Sanchez Gonzalez

A tree trimmer who was killed while trimming palm fronds on an 80-foot tree near the Chula Vista Golf Course in Bonita earlier this week was an Escondido resident who loved his job, according to a GoFundMe post on his behalf.

The Medical Examiner identified the tree trimmer Wednesday as 39-year-old Escondido resident Bardomiano Bautista-Perez.

Bautista-Perez was at the top of a nearly 80-foot palm tree when he became trapped and suspended amongst the cut fronds. When emergency personnel arrived, Bautista-Perez's co-workers were trying to free him from the heavy foliage that had pinned him about 50 feet off the ground, CVFD Capt. Josh Sanders said.

A GoFundMe page in support of Bautista-Perez's family, created by someone who said they were "blessed to have known Bardomiano" described him as a family man -- a husband and father to four children -- a hard worker and an amazing friend.

"Unfortunately, he lost his life doing the job he loved as a tree trimmer," the post read. A photo at the top of the posting showed a man cutting a birthday cake in the shape of a tree trunk with a chainsaw on top.

These incidents are fairly common, according to the Chula Vista Fire Department.

The fatal accident occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. in the front yard of a home in the 3600 block of Bonita Verde Drive in Bonita, according to the Chula Vista Fire Department.

When firefighters got to Bautista-Perez via a large ladder, it took them 30 minutes to cut him down, Sanders said. He was not breathing by the time he was finally on the ground. Rescue crews attempted to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at the scene, the medical examiner's office said.

“We have seen this in the past with these palm fronds falling on these tree trimmers and it is something that is relatively unique to certain types of palm trees,” Chula Vista Battalion Chief Tim Mehrer said.

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