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June 13. 2012 8:39PM

Man dies after receiving electric shock

NEWBURY – A tree service employee working on Route 103 on Wednesday afternoon died after he received an electric shock.

Newbury Fire & Rescue workers responded to Route 103 and Sutton Road at 3:30 p.m., said Newbury Fire Chief Henry E. Thomas Jr.

The man, who Thomas would not identify, was unconscious and not breathing when the emergency responders arrived, he said.

The emergency responders were able to resuscitate him. Bradford Rescue Ambulance transported him to Concord Hospital while Newbury Fire & Rescue personnel and a New London Ambulance paramedic treated the man en route to the hospital.

Though initially successful, attempts to save the man failed and he was pronounced dead at the hospital, Thomas said.

He said the man worked for Guillemette Tree Service out of Andover and was in his 40s or 50s.

The tree service crew was working with Department of Transportation workers on Route 103. The crews were taking down about a dozen large pine trees.

The man was standing on the ground near a wood chipper when a nearby crane just barely touched a live wire.

“Those ones up top on the poles that feed all the houses are bare aluminum wire,” Thomas said.

It was a “freak accident” in which the electricity made contact with the man through the ground, Thomas said. “The crane came in contact with a wire, which put electricity into the ground. It traveled across the grass and into the guy.”

“It was quite a distance away,” he said about the wire.

The other workers on the ground were not injured.

“I believe it was his proximity and the others were a little farther way,” he said.

The man working inside the crane was also uninjured.

Fire & Rescue personnel stayed on scene until Occupational Safety & Health Administration officials arrived to begin an investigation into the worked related death.

Thomas said based on the time of day and the position of the crane, which was west of the wires, the vision of the crane operator could have been impaired at the time of the accident.

“It potentially could have been a vision issue caused by the sun,” he said.

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Meghan Pierce may be reached at mpierce@newstote.com.


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