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Elevator Grazes Apex Man Working on WTVD's Transmitter Tower

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WAKE COUNTY — An Apex man working on WTVD's transmitter tower is in satisfactory condition at Wake Med after being injured Sunday morning when an elevator grazed him at about 1,500 feet.

Charles Easter, 23, was harnessed in, working on the tower, when the elevator started to descend without his knowledge. Once his co-workers saw what was happening, "they hollered and told him on the radio, and it was too late," says Tommy Mitchell, assistant fire chief of Garner.

"When he looked, it grazed him around the head and shoulder and down to the right side of his hip, and that's what relieved him from the tower and caused him to free-hang from the tower on the hook," Mitchell says.

The Garner Fire Department, Garner EMS, and Cary Fire Department responded with their high-angle team prepared for the rescue.

By the time authorities arrived on the scene, Easter's co-workers had already moved him to the platform. They also manipulated the elevator so they could bring him down.

Because the elevator was too small for all three men, they rode down together on top of the elevator, with the two uninjured men holding up Easter.

Once on the ground, rescue crews placed Easter into the ambulance.

Mitchell says they responded with a "trauma 1," saying the victim had head injuries and a bad spot on his hip.

Also responding to the incident was the Rescue Extrication Delivery Specialist (REDS) team.

The REDS team is scheduled for a drill at WRAL's tower a week from today.

"It was pretty ironic when the pager went off, and I heard somebody trapped at 1,000 feet at a TV tower," says REDS' David Pease. "It was very ironic to think next Sunday we're going to be out there doing the exact same thing."

Pease says accidents like this one are the reason the team has the drills it does.

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Robert Meikle, Photographer
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