Former Montesano Resident dies in Cowlitz County Logging Accident

Cougar, WA – The Cowlitz County sheriff’s office says a Rochester man has been killed in a southwest Washington logging accident.

Spokesman Charlie Rosenzweig said 28-year-old Kyle Schlesser was killed instantly Monday when he was struck by a tree felled by his logging partner, Owen Fickett.

The sheriff’s office says that a tree cut down by Fickett hit a second tree that in turn fell and struck Schlesser. Fickett says he called out to Schlesser before cutting the first tree to make sure his partner knew what he was doing. Schlesser was in the area cutting down another tree.

Rosenzweig says it appears the death near Cougar, Wash., was a tragic accident.

The victim,  Montesano High School graduate Kyle Schlesser, was the son of business owner James Schlesser and had nine years of logging experience. Fickett told sheriff’s officers he’s been logging 23 years without ever causing an injury.