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Paynesville man dies 6 months after being electrocuted in tree-cutting accident

Brad Kneisl was 31 years old.
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A central Minnesota man who made headlines when he was electrocuted in a work accident this past spring has succumbed to his injuries.

Brad Kneisl, who owned his own tree trimming service, suffered severe burns on May 24 while working in the town of Clarkfield in Yellow Medicine County.

According to local authorities, Kneisl was in a bucket lift that came into contact with a "live high line wire," resulting in his electrocution. He was flown to Hennepin County Healthcare and faced "a very long road to recovery."

He died of complications from his injuries on Tuesday, November 23, near Baldwin, Wisconsin, a place the avid outdoorsman "held near to his heart," according to his obituary 

Born in Willmar, Minnesota, and raised in the Kerkhoven area, he graduated from KMS High School in 2009 and worked on dairy farms, in construction and for a tree trimming company until starting his own business in 2018, Brad's Tree Service. 

Kneisl was known for his "great sense of humor" and "perfectly timed one-liners," his obituary says. He was also known as an "amazing father" to his young daughter Braelyn, as he "truly loved spending as much time with her as possible."

He leaves behind a wife, Kelsey, as well as his parents, siblings and nearly a dozen nieces and nephews.

A GoFundMe launched on his family's behalf has so far raised over $32,000 of a $50,000 goal. 

His funeral will be held Thursday, December 2, at Living Hope Evangelical Free Church in Willmar. 

Electrocution is a common hazard among tree trimmers, as their work frequently brings them into contact with power lines. According to the CDC, a 10-year study of tree service accidents counted 4,491 on-the-job deaths due to electrocution. 

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