Wood Chipper Death Probably Accidental By DEBORAH ALBERTO email@example.com Published: Mar 21, 2003 LAKELAND - Police say the death of a 24-year-old Lakeland woman who was caught in a wood chipper Wednesday appears to be accidental. Roziland Jennifer Mowell, whose husband owns Ashbranch Tree Service, was working with an Ashbranch crew in an upscale historic south Lakeland neighborhood when she got caught in the machine, police said. About 1 p.m., the woman's co-workers ran from the home, at 2222 Cambridge Ave., hopped into a truck and left the scene. They called police a short while later. ``We don't know why [the co-workers] left the scene,'' police spokesman Jack Gillen said. Meanwhile, contractors working on the home across the street heard the wood chipper, which was attached to a company truck, continue to run. Police would not say whether the machine was still running when they arrived, or how much time passed before the workers called to report the incident. Gillen said the workers were questioned and released. ``We do know how her body got into the chipper, but that is still under investigation,'' Gillen said, adding that details may become available today. The woman's entire body passed through the machine, Gillen said. ``It is very tragic,'' he said. The homeowner, Judith Sellers, first learned about the death that occurred in her back yard when police arrived at her door. ``The circumstances are certainly not ordinary. You would think that the homeowner would have known [about the incident] because normally, they would have run into her home to use the phone,'' Gillen said. Sellers could not be reached for comment, but a contractor working across the street from the home said he and his employees found the situation bizarre. ``It was their first day here, and we didn't hear them doing any work,'' Larry Laxdal said. ``We didn't hear any chain saws going all morning. Then, all of a sudden they all hopped in the truck and left. The only thing we heard after that was the chipper.'' R. Bryan Mowell owns Ashbranch, but the company lost its status as a corporation in November when he didn't file required paperwork, state records show. Mowell could not be reached for comment. The incident is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is not the first time an employee of Ashbranch was killed on the job. Sixteen-year-old Paul Plynaar was killed in July 1996 when a 30-foot tree trunk fell on him, police reported. Two months later, OSHA fined Mowell $750 for a safety violation. In 1999, another tree service worker in the Tampa Bay area was killed in a wood chipper accident in Valrico. Joshua Avery, 22, of 12973 Valley Ridge Road in Dover, died when he was sucked into a wood chipper after trying to free a stuck branch. He worked for Farrens Tree Surgeons Inc.