Denison city worker killed

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

DENISON, Tex. -- A city worker was killed on the job in Denison on Thursday morning. Howard Caylor, 49, died after a tree fell on top of him.

Denison city officials say the employee has been with the city for a long time. Now, they will remember him as a hard worker and the friend that he was to so many.

Denison police officials received the call around 8:30 Thursday morning about an accident involving a city crew doing routine maintenance at Waterloo Lake Park.

Officials say Caylor and the crew were in the process of cutting down a tree near the horse shoe pits when a tree fell in the wrong direction, falling on top of Caylor.

Caylor was pronounced dead on the scene.

It's the first on-the-job fatality the City of Denison has faced this year.

Denison firefighter Phillip Townsend was killed late last year, and two years ago a city employee was killed after falling off of a trash truck.

City officials say Caylor and other employees were qualified to perform the kind of work they were doing. It was just a tragic accident that claimed their friend’s life.

"Howard was a quality individual. He was constantly joking, has many good friends, you’d never hear anything had about him. He was just the type of guy you'd like to be around," Denison city manager Larry Cruise said.

No word yet on funeral arrangements for Caylor.


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  • by Dillon Caylor on Apr 22, 2008 at 06:10 PM
    Hello, Howard Caylor was my father. I speak as the head of my family when I say this, thank you to everyone for your concerns, prayers, thoughtfulness, and time. I noticed that many considered this incident a result of carelessness or a lack of safety. As for me and my house, we are not vengeful or bitter at God or anyone. Our aim is to please and serve the Lord, not ourselves. My father was nothing less than an experienced tree cutter, since our source of heat my whole life has been a wood burning stove, and a carefully prudent worker when safety was an issue. Others may feel obligated to ensure safety in the future as a result of this incident, but know that anyone's comments that might be considered harsh or mean are as water on rock. I say this to show the strength of the Lord and the freedom in His truth. My family lives in freedom as we press on and trust the Lord in looking forward to seeing my dad at our home.
  • by Firefighter Location: Denison on Nov 24, 2007 at 07:52 PM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to both families. This was truely a tragic accident that may or may not been able to be prevented, but the truth is the City of Denison Texas needs to be investigated EVERY department of the city. I work for the city and was a friend of Phillips I never knew Mr Caylor but am sure he was a good man from those I have talked to. The city officials in Denison are only out to help themselves they don't care about us employees trust me. Things could have been done differently in both situations to prevent both deaths maybe it wasn't anybody's fault but it still should have never happened. The citizens and workers of Denison need to stand together and get rid of the city officials and demand that our city be turned around and have the safety of everyone taken into consideration. I bet none of you know that the emergency siren alert system in the city (the sirens for tornados) hardly ever works!! Just one thing your officials don't want you to know.
  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Oct 21, 2007 at 09:05 PM
    It is interesting that Mr. Caylor and Mr. Townsend's name are mentioned in the same story. While Mr. Townsends death certainly deserved all of the attention it received (elaborate memorial service complete with parade, helicopter, throngs of firefighters from other cities, a memorial fund for the family, and extensive media coverage etc), it is a shame Mr. Caylors death and contribution to the citizens of Denison has not been recognized with similar adoration and respect. Mr. Caylor like so many other public servants put their lives at risk on a daily basis... from the guys who hang on to the back of the garbage trucks, to those who go deep into trenches to repair our water and sewer lines, and those who operate a myraid of dangerous machiney etc. They too work to enable us to maintain our way of life, and are no less a hero than a firefighter or a policeman who fall in the line of duty. However, they are paid far less, and go on day to day essentially unappreciated. Step up Denison!
  • by Understanding and Praying Location: Denison on Oct 20, 2007 at 04:37 PM
    To the family of this tragedy: As I read the comments, I am saddened that someone would place blame on the city that he loved enough to work for, but I hope you know that you have comfort in our heavenly Father. When my dad died, I was perplexed, always asking, "Why Him God". Well...God answered me several years later(when I took my fingers out of my ears) and told me that he didn't take my dad, that he received my dad. He opened his arms to my dad because on that day, my dad was ready for him. God had been ready for my dad from the very moment he breathed life into him, but my dad hadn't always been ready for him. Again, God comforted me with knowing that on that day, My Dad was closer to God then he ever was and would ever be. I know where my earthly Father is now, no doubt about it. Waiting for me with Howard and God, probably sitting under a tree pealing peaches (my dad loved peach trees). In Loving Memory of my father and your beloved.
  • by Tami Location: Denison on Oct 20, 2007 at 02:22 PM
    Our hearts and prayers go out to your family. My husband worked under Howard for 2 years and this came as a total shock for him. Accidents happen, no matter how careful you are. Just know there are people out there that feel your sadness and pain.
  • by anonymous Location: oklahoma on Oct 19, 2007 at 05:56 PM
    All "accidents" are preventable but I pray Gods love will comfort this family.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 19, 2007 at 02:19 PM
    My prayers go out to the family. May God wrap His arms around you and carry you through this very difficult time. God's Grace.
  • by annymous Location: denison on Oct 19, 2007 at 01:18 PM
    May God bless the family, friends, co-workers and the City of Denison. And God Bless those individuals posted below, and those out there who feel it necessary to point blame, and fault and disrespect Howard and his co-workers for the job they do everyday. Why is it necessary to tarnish his memory by unkind remarks and opinions, for a situation that was nothing more than an accident. Why do we naturally seek to blame and cause more hurt to minimize our own pain? For someone to post a negative opinion, not a fact, is so painfully disrespectful that doesn't help Mr. Caylor's family, nor any of his co-workers, or anyone involved with the events yesterday, last December and two years ago. Maybe we should focus on healing instead of hurting. Especially those individuals who or not involved. Seeing your negative comments does nothing to comfort the family in any of the situations. I know no one, the City, KXII or anyone else wanted these families to suffer their losses.
  • by Jerry Location: Denison on Oct 19, 2007 at 11:22 AM
    This is a TRAGIC accident but accidents do happen. As for saying the the Supervisor for Mr. Caylor and Mr. Townsend should be investigated, that is insane. Both men know when they are hired that their jobs are inherently dangerous. A fireman is runing into a burning area when others are running out. We should focus on supporting the families and praying for them.
  • by Rhonda Location: Dallas on Oct 19, 2007 at 08:28 AM
    I recently had a large tree removed. It was very costly, but safety must always override costs. This was done by an expert at tree removal. I have another that is halfway on my property and an easement which belongs to the city of Denison. My tree guy told me he would not work for Denison as they were not willing to pay fair prices for expert tree removal services. Some jobs require the expertise of professionals no matter what the cost. A life is too important to take that chance.
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