VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL - A Northeast Ohio man working for a local tree cutting company was killed while helping with clean up from Hurricane Matthew in Florida. He is identified as Steven Barna, 47, of Garrettsville.
"This was way too soon, he should not have went so soon," said Barna’s ex-wife, Jennifer Barna.
Jennifer says Steven went to Florida to get right and give back. She says his sudden death is a huge shock to their two sons, 12-year-old Robert and 10-year-old Joshua.
"Like a lot of people, he had some issues in his past and he was trying to make things right, trying to get his life on track and do what he needed to do to be a good father," she said.
Steve was working for Chagrin Falls-based Mr. Falls Tree Group Monday, helping neighborhoods clean up trees toppled last week by Hurricane Matthew near Ormond Beach, Florida. A supervisor tells Fox 8, the company sent five crews and equipment to Florida to assist with Hurricane relief.
"They were at, like, a break and he said he couldn't just stand around and not do anything, so he had walked around the back of the house with a chainsaw," Barna said.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, Steve was cutting a tree that was already on the ground, when a large piece of it rolled on top of him, pinning him underneath.
"His nephew was actually down there with him and he was the one who heard the person screaming, went over and found him,” she added.
Jennifer says several years ago, her ex-husband traveled to Virginia to help with storm clean up there.
"He tried to do the best he could to help whenever anybody needed help," Jennifer said.
Authorities say someone passing by yelled for help. They say his co-workers ran over, pulled the log off of him, while a witness performed CPR, but it was too late.