Orcas Island arborist dies in 50-foot fall

A 77-year-old Orcas Island man died after falling 50 feet while trimming trees, Thursday, in mid-afternoon.

According to San Juan County Sheriff’s Department, Herlwyn Lutz was trimming trees on Orcas Island’s Mount Baker Road at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 12 when he fell 50 feet and suffered fatal injuries from the fall. Lutz’s assistant attempted to revive him at the scene but was unsuccessful.

Based on a preliminary investigation, authorities believe an equipment failure is the probable cause that led to Lutz’s the fall.

A memorial fund has been set up at Islanders Bank to assist his wife Barbara with the needs of this transition.

A well-known arborist, the Islands' Sounder featured Lutz in several stories:

– Are the Madrona trees dying?

– Breathing room for the school's maple tree

– Eastsound's Monkey Puzzle tree cut down


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