Man who died falling from Xmas tree was to be grandfather on same day

Father who fell 20ft to his death while hanging lights on town centre Christmas tree died on same day his daughter went to hospital to give birth

  • Tree surgeon James Ogilvie, aged in his 50s, found dead by tree in Kirkcaldy, Fife
  • Daughter Amber Mitchell, 23 was due to give birth to her third child on same day
  • Hours before his death, Mr Ogilvie wrote on Facebook: ‘Looks like I’m going to be a grandad in the next 24 hours’

A father who fell to his death while hanging up festive lights on a town centre Christmas tree was due to become a grandfather again that day.

Tree surgeon James Ogilvie, who was in his 50s, was found dead at the bottom of the 20ft tree in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in the early hours of yesterday. 

The Scot tragically passed away on the day his daughter Amber Mitchell, 23 – who has two boys aged three and two – was due to give birth to her third child. 

Tree surgeon James Ogilvie, who was in his 50s, was found dead at the bottom of the 20ft tree 

The Scot tragically passed away on the day his daughter Amber Mitchell was due to give birth to her third child

He was found at the bottom of the tree in Kirkcaldy Town Square. Some of the top branches had snapped off and fallen to the ground

Hours before his death, Mr Ogilvie wrote on Facebook: ‘Looks like I’m going to be a grandad in the next 24 hours x.’

Ms Mitchell posted two photos of the tree surgeon with the caption ‘RIP dad’ on her social media yesterday.  


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Nightclub owner Mario Caira, who runs Kitty’s in Kirkcaldy, witnessed James’s fall and tried to help him as he lay on a patch of grass. He said: ‘He’d climbed the tree. He was up in the tree, holding on to the top.

‘When he fell, I thought he was actually winded. I went over to check on the guy and when he wasn’t coming round I phoned an ambulance.

A police officer stands in front of the scene where the tragic grandfather fell to his death

Hours before his death, Mr Ogilvie wrote on Facebook: ‘Looks like I’m going to be a grandad in the next 24 hours x’

‘It’s just a tragedy. Any time of year is bad, but this time of year is worse – and falling from a Christmas tree is probably even worse.’

The club owner said James had not been in Kitty’s before he fell and appeared to have been on his own. 

He said: ‘I’m not medically trained in terms of what happened when he fell, but I reckon you could do that thousands of times and you would walk away.’ 

The tree, located by Fife Council’s offices (pictured), was tilted slightly to one side yesterday

Councillor Neil Crooks, convener of the Kirkcaldy Area Committee, said: ‘This is a tragic thing to have happened, especially at this time of year.

‘Our thoughts are with the family at this time.’

The tree, located by Fife Council’s offices, was tilted slightly to one side, and branches at the top had snapped off and were lying on the ground.

The tree’s lights were in a tangled mess about half-way up, with some dangling to the ground.

It seemed that Mr Ogilvie had fallen off when top branches of the tree snapped off

A Police Scotland spokesman said: ‘Police in Fife were called to a report of an unresponsive man in the Hunter Street area of Kirkcaldy around 2.55am on Friday December 14.

‘The man was treated at the scene then conveyed to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy by the Scottish Ambulance Service where he later sadly passed away.

‘The death is being treated as non-suspicious and inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.

‘A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.’  

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