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Wash. man dies in work accident hours before birth of 4th child

Tim Waterman. (Courtesy of Waterman's family)

LAKE FOREST PARK, Wash. (KOMO) - A family in Lake Forest Park is finding strength in each other after the death of a beloved father in a work accident.

Tim Waterman, 55, died on Thursday, April 13, just hours before the birth of his new daughter.

Waterman shared a close bond with all of his kids, family members said.

His brother-in-law said being a father was something Waterman was great at.

"Every day, after working 10 to 12 hours out in the community, he would come home and play with these kids," said Kevin McCarthy. "And really not leave anything for himself."

Waterman started Northern Arboriculture, a tree service company, in 1998 and often hired people who were down on their luck, McCarthy said.

He loved helping others.

He loved the smell of trees.

He even developed a friendship with squirrels a time or two.

"He just grew up with a love of nature and making nature beautiful and helping people deal with death of nature," McCarthy said.

Waterman was moving trees with a bucket truck during a call in Lake Forest Park on April 13. His rope was under pressure and snapped, McCarthy said. Waterman fell, suffered critical injuries, and later died at the hospital, he added.

Waterman's family was just starting to process the sudden, tragic news when his wife Kelly gave birth about 10 hours later to their fourth child.

Savannah arrived several days early, McCarthy said.

"He really wanted to meet Savannah. And it’s just so sad that he’ll never get that chance and nor will she," McCarthy said.

"There’s just a certain reason that this has happened the way it’s happened," said Kathy Tyler, Waterman's mother-in-law. "We won’t ever know probably, but, you know, we just have faith in God that things are going to work out and the children will be fine."

For now, love and memories pull Waterman’s family through as they focus on an uncertain future.

Shiloh, the couple's oldest child, turns 7 years old on Sunday.

You can bet her kind, joyous father will be there in spirit.

"I don’t think there is an answer for how you recover from something like this," McCarthy said. "You couldn’t write a more tragic and beautiful story. So, I don’t really have the answer to what happens next."

A memorial service for Waterman will be held on Saturday, April 22.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help his family with expenses. Click here to make a donation.

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