Brick Township Man Killed by Fallen Tree Trunk

Brick resident passes away from injuries sustained in tree accident

A Brick resident who was the victim of a fallen tree trunk yesterday succumbed to his injuries, according to the Brick Township Police Department.

On Nov. 22, at 10:55 a.m., Brick Police responded to a home on Nejecho Drive for a 911 call. It was reported that a tree trunk at that location had fallen onto a male subject, 61 year-old Vernon Hankins.

“Officer Julian Halley was first on scene and found numerous neighbors using shovels in an attempt to dig out the subject, who was pinned under a large tree stump,” said Sgt. Keith Reinhard.

Police investigating the accident discovered that a large tree had been uprooted due to Superstorm Sandy, which left a sizable hole remaining at the base and stump of the tree. The tree was left with its roots visible and with a hole in the ground.

“Hankins apparently had been working on cutting the tree down and into pieces.  At one point, it appears he had gone into the hole at the base/stump of the tree and started cutting the roots. This caused what was left of the tree to shift its weight and fall onto him,” said Reinhard.

At that point, Hankins became trapped under the tree, with only his head and shoulders exposed.

First Aid and Fire Departments responded to the scene to assist in the rescue effort. Brick Fire Department Stations 21 and 22 used a winch and jack to pull the tree off Hankins, and he was then extricated from the hole after being trapped for just over 15 minutes. Medics and Brick Police EMT’s immediately began lifesaving efforts.

Hankins was then transported to Ocean Medical Center, where he later passed away.

Leave it on the Field November 26, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Today, Tom Rostron Jr helped us honor Vernon Hankins & we want to say, "Thank you." All Vernon's friends, neighbors, fans, fellow high school alumni from Pt. Beach, band members (past & present), as well as Brick High School colleagues, athletes & students are joined together to celebrate the creative & wonderful life of Vernon Hankins. As we work through the heartache of this tragic loss, we want to thank Tom Rostron, Jr and all the employees @ Tom Rostron Co in Manasquan for your amazing gift to Vernon's wife April and the entire Hankins Family. Your giant & humbling act of kindness in the name of Heating & Cooling represents the highest form of 'community.' We will never forget it. In the shadow of darkness, your good will is bringing light & hope not only to the Hankins family, but to so many of us who were lucky enough to be inspired by Vernon's remarkable legacy of music, art, education, athletics, humor, craftsmanship, friendship & love-of-family. A special thanks also to Nicole Ashley Gordon for contacting you in an effort to alert your company to the help Vernon's family needs. April & Vernon both became teachers & dedicated most of their adult lives to kids. Tom Rostron Co could not have selected a better man or more caring family to assist. With respect & gratitude to everyone in your company from all of us who will mourn Vernon's passing today & always, thank you again.
MARIA ORMSBY November 26, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Leave it on the Field November 27, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Thank you, Bricktown. Vernon Hankin's childhood friends from Pt. Beach were moved by your incredible community yesterday. Close to 2,000 people lined up in the cold @ Vern's wake to say "goodbye" between the two sessions. What a tribute to this wonderful man. The outpouring of love & support for his family says a lot about this dad, husband, brother, neighbor, teacher, coach, artist and leader of 'our' band. May Vern's wife April & their children find strength in the powerful embrace of the Bricktown community he loved & served for over 33 years. Wishing the Hankins Family & all of you peace @ today's memorial service.
Josh M December 01, 2012 at 09:40 PM
There is a benefit thats taking place for mr. Hankins and his family on Tuesday December 4th from 6-10PM at Mantaloking Road Pub off Mantaloking Rd in Bricktown. All are welcome to attend and support. There will be a $10 minimum for entry but you can donate as much as you'd like. Thanks and hope to see you there.
Leave it on the Field December 02, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Thanks for the benefit info Josh M. We are already so grateful to the Mantoloking Road Pub & its employees who helped all of us after Vern's wonderful memorial service on Tuesday @ Visitation Church. I'm asking friends to announce this event on their Facebook Pages. We will do what we can. But please know - there are no words for acts of kindness like this. Friends who loved Vern & fans who loved Vern's music dating back to the olden 'Days' are grateful to all of you. Thank you so much.


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