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Breaking: Man dies in logging accident in Montvale

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By Tom Wilmoth

A 69-year-old Botetourt County man died following a logging accident Friday morning in Montvale.

The accident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Friday in a remote area in Montvale off Partridge Lane, in the Goose Creek Valley area. Montvale fire and rescue crews responded to the scene.

Killed in the accident was Haden Lee Dunbar, 69, of Webster Road. The man was described as a long-time employee of Eddie Dooley Inc., a Blue Ridge logging company.

Dunbar had been running a skidder on a mountain when it overturned, as many as 15 or 16 times, according to Major Ricky Gardner of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office. Dunbar was in the process of going to pick up more logs. A skidder is used to move logs that have been cut down. Gardner said the skidder came down the mountain about 150 feet.

Dunbar, who was not wearing a safety harness, was not ejected from the skidder, according to Gardner. He was declared dead at the scene.

Company officials and friends gathered at the site of the accident said Dunbar had been retired from the railroad, but had worked in logging all of his life. They said he loved the mountains.

An investigator with the Virginia Department of Labor was also at the scene. That investigation could take several months.

Dunbar's body was carried down off the mountain by rescue personnel and transported to the medical examiner for an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death.