Man killed cutting trees in Acworth loved his job, being outdoors, family says

Marvin Reyes, 38, leaves behind wife, children in Guatemala
Marvin Reyes, 38, was electrocuted while trimming a tree in Acworth, according to investigators.

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

Marvin Reyes, 38, was electrocuted while trimming a tree in Acworth, according to investigators.

He loved being outdoors. And when Marvin Israel Cifuentes Reyes had the opportunity to leave his native Guatemala to work in the United States, he did it to help support his family.

The 38-year-old planned to one day return home to farm on his land.

But on May 20, Reyes was killed doing a job he had done for 12 years: trimming trees. He was electrocuted while working in a residential area near Lake Allatoona, according to investigators.

“He loved to climb trees, and sadly, he left this life while doing his favorite thing,” his obituary states.

Acworth officers were called to a home on Academy Street that afternoon in reference to a “person down,” police spokesperson Cpl. Eric Mistretta said. By the time officers arrived, Reyes had died.

He was a married father of three, according to his family and employer.

“He was an individual who always had a smile on his face, and uplifted anyone with just his presence,” the organizer of a GoFundMe page posted. “Unfortunately, Marvin passed away unexpectedly and tragically this Monday, May 20. This news affected everyone close to him in Georgia, as well as his family and friends in Guatemala.”

The fundraiser, created by an employee of Serious Tree Service, will be used to help the man’s family in his native country, the organizer said. His funeral was held Saturday in Austell, according to his obituary.

“Marvin was a loving and dedicated father to his children. His death has left a great emptiness today,” his obituary said. “We say goodbye from this world to a great person, a man who won our hearts with his friendship and kindness. He has left us, but his memory will live in our hearts forever. Goodbye, ‘Picudo.’ Rest in peace. We will see you again soon.”

A tree removal worker was killed May 20 while working in Acworth, investigators said.

Credit: Ben Hendren

icon to expand image

Credit: Ben Hendren

Residents near where Reyes was working previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution they had concerns about the tree cutting and began making phone calls before the work began. Several called the power company and city officials and were told permits were in place to do the work on a property recently purchased by someone who plans to build a new home, neighbors said.

“I heard a lot of commotion and I thought they had cut a tree wrong and it was about to land on my house,” Robyn Johnson said.

Johnson’s home is across the street from where the trees were being cut. She walked outside and smelled smoke. Some 75 feet in the air, she saw that a worker appeared to have hit a power line with a chainsaw.

“I called 911 as it was happening,” she said. “The poor guy probably died within a minute.”

The incident remains under investigation.

— Staff writer Rosana Hughes contributed to this article.