AURORA (CBS4) – Funeral services were held for a father of five killed in a freak accident while camping.

A falling tree at Red Dirt Reservoir killed Andrew Zawatzki, 38, of Aurora. He died while camping in mid-June.

Thomas James called his brother a great dad, a loving husband and devoted friend who lived life to the fullest. That changed in the middle of the night when gale force winds blew a tree onto his tent.

“We grew up camping, went all the time,” James said. “We still don’t believe it, hard to believe it, someone at 38 losing their life so quickly.

“There were three friends from work, they tried everything they could to get that tree off him (but it was) too big.”

tree death map Family Remembers Man Killed By Fallen Tree While Camping

(credit: CBS)

The particular tree was a live one but the Grand County area has been hit hard by the pine beetle. That has the coroner’s office warning campers.

“The way the wind has been blowing you could actually see those trees, they didn’t look very secure,” said coroner Brenda Bock. “Really be aware of your surroundings when you’re putting your tent there, your vehicle there.”

For now the Zwatzki family is coming to terms with the loss, remembering a father and brother.

“He was a great man,” said his son, Kyle Krazan. “Just wanted family and their love.”

“On his arms were tattoos, ‘Live Life,’ ” recalled James. “What he wanted next was ‘Love and Laugh,’ so that’s what he wants us all to do.”

The family will scatter his ashes at Lost Park where he camped with his family growing up.


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