Detached U-Haul Trailer Strikes, Kills Pittsburgh Artist
Family, Friends Mourn Wood Sculptor
Posted: 9:39 pm EDT May 13, 2010Updated: 4:40 pm EDT May 14, 2010PITTSBURGH -- Police in Pittsburgh said a trailer came loose from a passing pickup truck and struck an artist who was carving a wooden sculpture in the city's Larimer neighborhood.Authorities said John Metzler, 46, was using a chainsaw and wearing heavy ear protection when the small U-Haul trailer broke free from the passing truck along Washington Boulevard.Police said the truck hit a divot in the road and the trailer detached, hitting Metzler as he carved the sculpture Thursday night at his Urban Tree Forge studio in the East Liberty neighborhood.Metzler was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital, where he later died from his injuries.Police questioned the driver, but did not file charges.
They are still investigating the cause of the accident and are trying to determine if the trailer was properly attached to the truck.Metzler’s father, Fred Metzler, said his son started Urban Tree Forge two years ago.“It was his life,” Fred Metzler said Friday. “He loved nature. He loved trees. He loved just being. He loved life and, I guess, most of all, he loved his friends.”On Friday, friends and co-workers gathered at the workshop to pay tribute to John Metzler. They placed flowers in front of the workshop and hung a T-shirt by the front door.
“We have employees and he had a lot of friends and a lot of customers that were in the midst of dealing with him," Fred Metzler said.“He was a personal friend,” said Jim Fowkes. “He was a real great guy, always there when you needed him.”