Man hunting with his father dies after falling from tree stand, New York officials say

Screengrab from Rinaldo's GoFundMe page

A man hunting with his father in a small town in upstate New York died after falling from a tree stand, state officials said.

Michael Rinaldo, 33, fell about 18 feet from a tree stand in Brutus, New York, on Saturday, Nov. 26, Syracuse.com reported, citing the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. He died of head injuries from the fall.

Deputies from the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office investigated the death, the outlet reported.

It was determined that Rinaldo was not using a safety harness at the time, according to CNY Central.

Rinaldo had just gotten married in September and had a 3-year-old son, according to a GoFundMe page created after his death.

“Mike loved spending time with his family, especially his father,” the site stated. “Mike’s loss will forever impact many but especially his wife Larissa and 3-year-old son Mason.”

He was an “accomplished welder and painter” and an “avid hockey player,” according to his obituary.

Falls from tree stands are common hunting accidents, according to one study. Safety harnesses are crucial to preventing these falls, a University of Rochester study found.

“We hope this brings awareness to all hunters to be safe and always wear your harness while hunting,” Rinaldo’s GoFundMe stated. “Mike will be missed by all who knew and loved him.”

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