A 36-year-old man has been killed after a section of a tree fell on top of him Friday in Independence Township, authorities say. 

Deputies and Independence Township Fire Department responded at noon to the 4700 block of Rattek and upon arrival, found him trapped beneath a large section of hardwood. The large section of the tree broke free from the wind and had fallen on top of him, striking his back, officials said. 

The man from Waterford Township was working on his employer's property using a walk-behind skid steer spreading mulch and leaves when the incident occurred. 

"The impact forced his head forward into the steering levers of the machine and pinned him," according to an Oakland County Sheriff's Office press release. "The levers went into the subject's head contributing to his death."

Investigators from the Independence sheriff's substation are looking into if this was a weather-related incident or if there was foul play. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday morning.


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