WASHINGTON — An Architect of the Capitol employee has died after part of a large tree fell on him near the grounds of the Capitol building Tuesday morning.
Around 9:15 a.m., a large branch of an American Elm fell onto Matthew McClanahan, a pipefitter for the Architect of the Capitol, at the corner of Independence Avenue and First Street in Southeast.
McClanahan was extracted from beneath the tree and taken to the hospital in “extremely critical” condition, officials said. He later died, said a spokesperson for the Architect of the Capitol.
McClanahan was working on an irrigation pipe at the time the branch fell on him. The Architect of the Capitol is an agency that preserves and maintains landmark buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill.
Independence Avenue between First Street Southeast and Washington Avenue Southwest was closed for most of Tuesday.
“Matt was a talented, dedicated pipefitter in the Maintenance Division of Capitol Grounds. Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Architect of the Capitol said in a statement.
The United States Capitol Police and the Architect of the Capitol have been evaluating and processing the scene. AOC Capitol Grounds crews are inspecting the tree and will remove the remaining portion of tree.
McClanahan is survived by his wife, Lauren, and two young children, Evie and Matthew, according to a statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“Their loss is so sudden and unimaginable. I ask my colleagues and everyone in the Capitol community to keep Matthew’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers,” Ryan said in the statement.
WTOP’s Teta Alim and Anna Isaacs contributed to this report.