Lumberjack's death cutting trees mystified inquest witness

·1 min read

As Glenn Somers prepared to testify this week at the inquest into lumberjack Mario Roy's death in the woods at Saint-Quentin, he still didn't understand how the accident could have happened to someone with Roy's experience.

Somers is the owner of maple syrup company TDG Somers, where Roy was cutting down trees with an electric saw when one of the cut trees fell and struck him on Sept. 7, 2018.

Roy's friend and colleague André Bouchard found him with severe injuries to his face and chest. Roy died later that day.

The inquest being held by coroner Jérome Ouellette began this week at the Edmundston Convention Centre. The jury is expected to make recommendations later Wednesday.

Somers, whose company owns the woods, said he can't understand how a lumberjack like Roy could have made a mistake limbing trees.

"The safety rule was established a long time ago," Somers told Radio-Canada. "There is no lumberjack who should ever continue limbing a tree after having cut one down that is resting on another tree."

Despite his own questions, Somers said he believes the inquest is a waste of time and money, and thinks it will only open wounds about the tragedy.

Roy's sister, Angèle Roy, hopes the inquest will allow her to mourn her brother.

"He was experienced, so we don't understand," she said.

She is optimistic the recommendations coming out of the inquest will lead to stricter safety guidelines for the maple syrup industry.