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Capitol Hill worker killed by falling tree branch

A freak accident has taken the life of a Capitol Hill worker.

“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Architect of the Capitol employee, Matthew McClanahan, following an accident on the U.S. Capitol Grounds,” Stephen T. Ayers, the architect of the Capitol, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“A large branch of an American Elm fell and struck Matt, who was working nearby on an irrigation pipe. Matt was a talented, dedicated pipefitter in the Maintenance Division of Capitol Grounds. Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

McClanahan is survived by his wife, Lauren, and their children Evie and Andrew. He was transferred to a local hospital after being removed from under the tree by the fire department employees and EMS technicians, according to WUSA. The accident happened around 9:15 a.m.

“Their loss is so sudden and unimaginable,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “I ask my colleagues and everyone in the Capitol community to keep Matthew’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

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