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News Man’s condition critical after tree falls on head

Blue Valley Road area of HighlandsA Highlands man remains in critical condition at Mission Memorial Hospital after an accident on Saturday in which he was struck in the head by a tree. John Roy Potts, 74, was helping a group of people clear trees from a property on Blue Valley Road in Highlands when the accident occurred.

The group was working at Neville Wilson Camp, when one tree they were removing became lodged in the branches of another tree. Potts, who was wearing protective ear coverings and did not hear the others in his group yelling out warnings, was struck in the head after the tree became dislodged and began falling again, according to Bobby Dorsey. Dorsey, the closest neighbor to the camp, said that Potts’ sister-in-law ran to his house and used his home phone to call 9-1-1 dispatch.

Highlands Fire & Rescue was the first on the scene followed quickly by Emergency Management personnel. Highlands’ Assistant Chief Ryan Gearhart said his crew helped the EMS personnel with patient care. To be evacuated by emergency aircraft, Potts had to be transported to a field more than a mile from the scene. Gearhart’s team also helped prepare the field across from Clear Creek Baptist Church to be used as a landing zone for the Mountain Area Medical Airlift helicopter, better known as MAMA.

According to the 9-1-1 incident report, the call from Dorsey’s house came in at 1:28 on Saturday afternoon. Emergency personnel had arrived at the scene in a relatively remote area of the Blue Valley community by 1:41 p.m. A subsequent caller to 9-1-1 reported Potts was breathing but otherwise unresponsive. Emergency personnel at the scene had trouble obtaining blood pressure readings and reported that Potts’ breathing was “labored.” Less than half an hour after the initial call came in, at 2:06 p.m., MAMA was on the ground in the makeshift landing zone.

“We live out in the boonies, but they got here as fast as they possibly could,” said Dorsey of the quick response time of emergency personnel.

Mission Memorial Hospital will not release specific information about Potts’ condition to non-family members, but on Monday Dorsey reported that the situation was hopeful. Dorsey said that the family was still awaiting the results of MRI tests at that time.

“He’s a good fellow,” Dorsey said of Potts. “We’re all praying for him.”


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