TAMPA - A pile of wood chips 6 feet high was soaked with blood Wednesday afternoon after a Tampa construction worker died while clearing a lot on 127th Avenue.
A black high-top tennis shoe, barely recognizable, rested atop the pile next to the wood chipper.
``A piece of wood got stuck, and he tried to clear it out,'' said 12-year-old Luis Santiago, a witness. ``But he got pulled in. He yelled, `Help me! Help me!' But the other worker couldn't turn the machine off in time.''
The man worked for James Hardman Construction. He is the fourth person in the Tampa area to die in recent years after being pulled into a wood chipper. Authorities did not release the man'sname, but they said he was in his mid-40s and had worked for the company about a year.
``These kind of accidents are few and far between,'' Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman J.D. Callaway said. ``These are incredibly dangerous types of equipment. Usually whathappens is something gets stuck, and the victim tries to clear it with his hand or foot, then they get pulled in.''