GEORGIA, USA — A Georgia family is heartbroken after getting a phone call about the loss of father, son Sean Kornacki who was cleaning up damages from the storm in Walker County Friday.
The 40-year-old man worked for the Georgia Department of Transportation as a maintenance department foreman for 16 years, according to his mother.
On Friday at 2 a.m., Kornacki was using a chainsaw to cut a tree to help with cleanup on Highway 193 in Walker County about two miles away from Lafayette.
That's when officials said the tree he was cutting split and fell striking the 40-year-old man in the head. The Walton County Medical Examiner confirmed that blunt force trauma to his head and chest is what caused his death.
The mother of the fallen GDOT worker, Kim Kornacki, said her son didn’t suffer. Officers on scene tried to move the tree but it was too large.
Officials said Sean Kornacki was working by himself on the tree and another officer was there to direct traffic.
Kim said he loved his job and would not hesitate to go back to work when he was called in.
"He loved his job. He was on call all the time. He could get home from work and not even have his boots off yet and they would say come back to work because there's a tree down or a stop sign down," Kim said.
Jan. 13 is the anniversary of Sean's grandmother's death, his mother said. She said the news of her son's passing couldn't have come at the worst time.
"I'm hoping my mom will be up there in heaven waiting at the gates with her hands wide open. She had a bond with him and was so excited," she said.
Sean had a daughter, who is 18 years old, according to his mother.
Photos | Sean Kornacki
"He had a good sense of humor. He was a good family man. He worked hard and he took care of me. He loved outdoor living and loved to do his runs and exercise," his mother said.
Georgia State Senator Colton Moore said in a post on his Facebook,
"It is with a heavy heart we share this difficult news out of Walker County regarding the tragic passing of Georgia Department of Transportation employee Sean Kornacki.
Sean served the State of Georgia DOT for 16 years and was killed in the line of duty last night after working to clear battered roads from yesterday's storms.
Sean served as the Walker County Highway Maintenance foreman and worked his entire career to keep roads in Northwest Georgia safe and clear. Today we honor Sean’s life and his family during this difficult time.
Our prayers are with all families who tragically lost loved ones across Georgia due to these storms."