Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

August 7, 2013

UPDATE: Tree trimmer dies in power line accident

TRAVERSE CITY — Bill Parrish first heard a "pop."

The sound came from the backyard of his East Orchard Drive home where two tree trimmers worked to remove branches from a big pine tree. He looked outside and saw one of the tree trimmers run across the grass yelling "call 911, call 911."

He then saw the other worker hanging lifeless from his harness in the tree.

"It was a horrible accident," he said.

More than 550 Traverse City Light & Power customers lost power after a tree trimmer contracted by the utility came in contact with a 13,800-volt power line —that was the "pop" Parrish and others in the neighborhood heard.

Traverse City Fire Department Chief Jim Tuller said crews were dispatched Wednesday at 9:35 a.m. to the Orchard Street neighborhood just north of Traverse City Central High School.

"The person was hired as a subcontractor to Traverse City Light & Power," he said. "He was in the process of securing himself off in the tree when he came into contact with the primary power line."

No information was immediately available on the male victim's identity, other than that he worked for Trees Inc., a tree trimming company whose officials could not be reached for comment.

TCL&P Executive Director Tim Arends said the two-man crew spent the last two weeks clearing problem branches from backyard trees in the area. He said the utility, police and Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration (MIOSHA) will investigate the accident.

"(The victim) was getting a piece of equipment from the supervisor on the ground to trim the trees when the accident occurred," he said. "We don't know if he came in direct contact or was just in close proximity."

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted