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Man working on Spring Lake power line electrocuted

Posted July 23, 2015
Updated July 24, 2015

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— A contractor on a crew moving power lines in southern Harnett County was electrocuted Thursday, officials said.

The Lee Electrical Construction crew was moving power lines near Overhills High School to accommodate the planned widening of Ray Road when a worker, Mitchell Williams, came in contact with a 7,200-volt line at about 11 a.m., according to an official with South River Electrical Membership Corp., which had hired the crew out of Aberdeen to assist with the project.

Williams was trying to reconnect a transformer at the time, and his co-workers quickly cut power to the line and lowered the bucket so they could begin resuscitation efforts.

Employees at the nearby Little Red Hen Academy day care center watched in horror as Williams was pulled down.

"The guys, they were in a state of shock themselves, but they ended up turning the current off," Shemika Johnson said.

"I'm looking out the door, and the white bucket that they work in, they were trying to lift him out of the bucket," Latesia McClain said. "They finally got him out, and they laid him on the ground, and one of his co-workers tried to give him CPR. They reacted real fast like they were trying to save him."

Investigators with the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health were at the site Thursday afternoon to determine whether any workplace safety violations occurred. South River EMC and Lee Electrical are conducting their own investigations of the incident, officials said.


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  • Vera McGraw Jul 23, 2015
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    this is very close to my heart. My dad worked for Duke POWER as a lineman....before the hydralic lifts....used the spikes on boots to get up the pole. His crew witnessed a co-worker get electrocuted, before the day of CPR, AED, and cell phones. My heart is very heavy.

  • Russell Chapman Jul 23, 2015
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    "The guys, they were in a state of shock themselves, but they ended up turning the current off," Shemika Johnson said
    Poor choice of words.

  • Jamie Escobedo Jul 23, 2015
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    As a wife of a Lineman, Our prayers go out to this brother's family and friends. May God Bless

  • Aaron Whaley Jul 23, 2015
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    Unfortunate incident. I live less than a mile from where this happened. I have observed these guys working, and as a safety professional myself know that no matter how much training and how well you plan things still happen. My condolences are with the family and the crew members that were working with him.

  • Kori Morgan Jul 23, 2015
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    Sounds like they did a good job and were quick to respond to try to help their coworker. Praying for the family, friends and coworkers.

  • Ben Raynor Jul 23, 2015
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    How many years in the field Jim? Probably zero... This accident is under investigation. Inspectors with OSHA or safety inspectors throughout the power company itself cannot recognize hazzards we as lineman face. Such as a pin hole in rubber that occurred after prior inspection. This accident hit close to home for me and fellow lineman. Please keep your smart comments to yourself. Our job goes very unnoticed and unappreciated until the lights go out.

  • Johan Summer Jul 23, 2015
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    My sincerest prayers go out to this man's family, friends and co-workers. Such a tragic accident.

  • Jamie Patrick Jul 23, 2015
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    @Jim - What would you rather? Do you want inspectors on every job while work is being performed? I wasn't on site, and I don't know what happened (and I expect you don't know either). I'm fairly certain that DOSH will find something that could have been done differently. In hindsight, everyone usually does. My thoughts are with the linemen. I recall a statement about NEC, and it likely applies here as well.. OSHA rules are usually written with blood.

  • Jim Buchanan Jul 23, 2015
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    There you go! It's sad the DOSH employees always come AFTER the fact to place blame.

    Prayers for everyone involved!!