Worker in Bucket Truck Shocked by Power Line in Ivy
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -
A utility worker is being treated after the bucket truck he was in touched a power line Tuesday near Ivy.
Albemarle County rescue crews had to be careful in getting him free after the accident to make sure they were not hurt as well. It turned into a tricky balancing act that cut power to the area and blocked a road into a neighborhood.
That worker is recovering from serious electrical burn injuries at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Crews on the scene say he is lucky to be alive.
“I saw a big flash of light and then the power went off,” said Davina Jackson, who witnessed the accident.
The zap sent Jackson out of her home on Morgantown Road. Down the street, she saw what caused the surge: a utility worker - high up in this bucket truck - had hit a power line. The shock sent thousands of volts of electricity through him and set the truck below on fire.
“He was dangling for a while and then he started moving and everything like that. It's amazing,” Jackson said.
Fire crews rushed to the scene just after 1 p.m. and found the truck on fire with the worker trapped and tangled in the power lines above.
“You can tell from the truck that the truck actually caught on fire. The electricity seemed to go through the vehicle, jump the tires, into the ground and set the bottom of the truck on fire,” said Albemarle County Fire Chief Dan Eggleston.
Dominion Power crews cut off electricity to the line so firefighters could stretch out their ladder truck to reach the worker.
“That's why this particular rescue was very tedious and deliberate - because we had someone's life hanging in the balance as well,” Eggleston said.
Firefighters carefully got the man out of the bucket and brought him down to a waiting ambulance. He was alert, though Eggleston says he had burns over 30 percent of his body.
The man was a contract worker for a phone company installing fiber optic cables. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident.
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