FLETCHER, Vt. — A Vermont man cutting trees for firewood to help out a family has died after a tree fell and struck him.

Police say 72-year-old Carl Eells of Essex Center was cutting trees in the town of Fletcher on Saturday. A tree he was working on had the top of another tree caught in its upper branches. When it fell, the top dislodged and struck Eells across the neck. He fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said he was wearing protective gear, which included a helmet, gloves and logging chaps.

Eells had organized the volunteer work to gather firewood for a farm family that had recently suffered hardship.