Tree trimmer electrocuted while working in tree near power lines

Columbus Fire says a person was killed after being shocked in east Columbus August 29, 2018. (WSYX/WTTE)

A tree trimmer was electrocuted Wednesday afternoon on the job on the far east side of Columbus. The worker was shocked after climbing about 25 to 30 feet up a tree off Forestview Drive.

Firefighters on scene said the worker was part of a family business. They said a father and two grown sons were working when one of the sons was electrocuted. They said the victim was stuck in the tree when crews arrived on scene. Firefighters had to wait for AEP to verify the nearby power lines were shut off before they could attempt to rescue him. He was dead by the time they reached him.

“It’s tough to take,” said neighbor Gordon Cooper. “This is a great neighborhood. To have something like this is just a complete shock.”

Emergency crews said the victim appeared to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s. So far no name has been released.

Firefighters were trying to figure out if the worker killed touched one of the power lines or whether one of the branches he was touching did.

“The tree wasn’t real thick at the time,” said Battalion Chief Steven Martin with the Columbus Division of Fire. “The (power) lines are very thin and they’re stacked up one on top of the other instead of the normal what you would see four, five running across above your head. I could see where he might have missed it.”

OSHA also will investigate since it’s a work-related death. Columbus Division of Police Homicide unit also will investigate.

Firefighters called in grief counselors to help the family who witnessed one of their loved ones passing away on the job.

ABC 6/FOX 28 will continue to follow this story.

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