Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 20, 2012

Wakarusa man found six days after falling from tree

WAKARUSA — A rural Wakarusa man was discovered by a neighbor Tuesday after spending about six days on the ground after a fall while cutting a limb from a tree at his home.

Jim Miller, 61, 25607 C.R. 40, was apparently cutting a limb in a large maple tree near his barn using a ladder when he fell to the ground last Wednesday. The chainsaw he was using was caught in the tree. It appeared that Miller fell at least 15 feet.

Neighbor Paul Miller, who found Jim Miller about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, said he received a telephone message from Jim’s sister, asking Paul to go across the road and check on him.  

“I went to his mailbox and there was mail,” Jim Miller said. “The papers were stacked up.”

Miller walked behind the house, and noticed the limb on the ground, then saw the ladder.

“I thought the worst,” Miller said, as he walked up to his neighbor lying on the ground in the brush of the fallen tree limb. “I called his name and he opened his eyes. He couldn’t move. He knew what day it was, though. He asked me what day it was and I mistakenly said Monday.

“He said ‘I thought it was Tuesday,’ and he was right. He was thirsty.”

A crew with the Wakarusa ambulance service took Miller to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment before being transferred to Memorial Hospital in South Bend. A supervisor at the South Bend hospital said Miller was in serious condition and was being evaluated in their emergency department.

Harrison Township firefighters and neighbors assisted at the scene. The chain saw was freed and some brush was cut before the tools were put away at Miller’s property.

One of the rescuers pointed out that the grass had turned yellow where Miller had lay for the past six days.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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