Tree trimmer electrocuted by power line in Deltona
Updated: 5:20 PM EDT Oct 14, 2016
Claire Metz Reporter
DELTONA, Fla. —
A tree trimmer was killed Friday after being shocked by a 13,000 V power line while on the job in Volusia County.
It happened shortly before 12 p.m. at a home in the 800 block of Leeward Drive in Deltona.
"I heard a moan, like, 'Ugh,' then dead silence," Ron Culhane said.
Culhane was sitting inside at his computer while a 52-year-old tree trimmer the family hired to tackle a leaning pine out back went to work. The trimmer was working with a pole saw on a lift device at least 40 feet up, and Culhane said it was delicate work because the power line was caught in the tree.
When Culhane heard the moaning, he ran outside and saw the worker sitting in the lift with his head resting on a bar. Culhane thought the worker might be wearing earplugs.
"I picked up a branch, started banging on the lift, figuring the vibration would probably get his attention, but he wasn't responding," Culhane said.
The family called 911, and first responders raced to the scene.
Because of the nature of the accident, which was electrical, rescuers had to have power shut down in the entire area in order to safely rescue the tree trimmer and stay safe themselves.
The power line had more than 13,000 volts running through it, and although it is unknown whether the worker had direct contact with the line, or secondary contact, Culhane knew it wasn't good.
"They finally got him down, and I heard no breath and they started CPR. I had to leave at that point because I started choking up," Culhane said.
Despite efforts to save the victim as he was rushed to the hospital, he did not survive.
The incident will be the fifth death in Central Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
The victim is local, officials said, and his business is based in DeBary. Investigators will not release his name until next of kin is notified.