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Man Charged in Teen's Death/Fall
Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

This afternoon the CCSO arrested 37-year-old Jonathan Wilkes of Putnam County. The warrant narrative provides the information/explanations many of you have asked for since this incident occurred in August (see original release below).

This arrest covers only the parts of the investigation considered criminal in nature. OSHA and Dept. of Labor will deal separately with issues regarding the business of John Wilkes Tree Service. Please direct questions related to the company’s operation to those agencies.

****Original MEDIA RELEASE****
August 13, 2013
Teen Dies After Fall from Tree in Clay County
14-year-old Blake Bryant of Palatka (Putnam County) died today after falling more than fifty (50) feet from a tree in Clay County. Bryant, a resident of 108 Louie Lane in Palatka, was working with acquaintances for the John Wilkes Tree Service this morning at a residential location in Middleburg (4202 Scenic Drive). Bryant climbed a tree on the property and was cutting off a section of the tree with a chain saw when he fell to the dirt/ground below. This occurred at 10:15am today.
Blake Bryant was flown by helicopter (from a landing zone at Omega Park off CR 218) to Shands Jacksonville where he was pronounced dead at 12:10pm. Efforts were made at the hospital to save his life, but the internal injuries caused by the fall proved to be fatal. His family has been notified. Officials from OSHA and the Dept. of Labor were notified by our agency and they sent officials to the scene to conduct their own investigations. CCSO detectives have been told that the teen was assisting on this one project but does not normally work for this company. The investigation is ongoing.



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