An upstate man severely injured volunteering to clear a forest trail in Colchester has died of his injuries.

Gerard Benedict, 65, of Newark, had severe head trauma after a log hit his head May 10, state police at Sidney said, and he was taken to Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center in Johnson City.

Benedict died May 11, an obituary said.

Benedict had been clearing a trail with another volunteer, Robert Moses, 65, on the Finger Lakes Trail in Colchester, Delaware County. Troopers said Moses used a chainsaw to cut down a tree, and as it fell, it struck another dead tree, causing a branch to fall and strike Benedict, who wasn't wearing a helmet.

Benedict, as a volunteer clearing trails, wasn't required to wear a helmet and wasn't part of a logging team, his son, Todd Benedict said Monday. His father was an athlete, avid hiker and master gardener who would travel many miles to help maintain trails, he said.

Gerard "Gerry" Benedict served three years in the Peace Corps in India and taught biology at Midlakes High School for 35 years, an obituary said.

His liver and kidneys were donated to others after his death.

The Finger Lakes Trail, a system more than 950 miles long, runs from the Pennsylvania-New York border in Allegany State Park to the Long Path in the Catskill Forest Preserve.

The trail system has been and continues to be built and maintained by 15 organizational and about 60 individual and family trail sponsors, according to the Finger Lakes Trail Conference website, www.fltconference.org.

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