Two die at logging site

Hoonah men killed while hauling trees

Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2000

Families are grieving in Hoonah after two men died in a logging accident Monday.

Ronald Ely, 34, and Stephen Lindoff, 33, were both killed when a cable and pulley system failed as they were logging near Hoonah, according to Alaska State Troopers. Both men, who worked for Hoonah's Whitestone Logging, died instantly, according to the troopers.

William Ely's son was practically brought up at a logging camp about seven miles outside of Hoonah. This morning, the father, who works and lives in Juneau, said his son was a lifelong logger who wanted to work among the spruce, hemlock and alder.

``He loved the outdoors,'' William Ely said.

His grief kept him from being able to say much more this morning. He worked for Whitestone -- a close-knit, family operation -- for some 21 years. His son is survived by a wife, Shannon, and two little girls.

John Lindoff, Stephen Lindoff's uncle who lives in Juneau, said his nephew was a longtime logger, was married, and was the father of one child.

According to troopers, felled trees were being hoisted up a slope by cable when the accident occurred. The cable connected to that tree was tied off on a live tree. The live tree, for some reason, fell, which loosed the felled trees. Additional information about the incident was not available from the troopers today.

The owner of Whitestone was not available for comment by the Empire's midday deadline today. Whitestone has contracts to log lands with the U.S. Forest Service and Sealaska Corp., the regional Native corporation for Southeast.

The accident, according to troopers, took place about 25 miles outside of town. The initial report to the troopers came in just before 11 a.m. Monday.

As an industrial accident, it will be reviewed by the state.

``We sent an investigator over there yesterday afternoon,'' said Al Dwyer, director of the Division of Labor Standards and Safety. It's too soon to report on much about the accident, he said.

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