Worker snags electrical line

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com
A county worker accidentally snagged an electric power line Jan. 30 in Skiatook. City of Skiatook.

District 2 Commissioner Kevin Paslay told his colleagues and other county officials Monday about a recent dangerous accident involving one of the county road crew members who works for him. Paslay said the accident will likely result in a repair bill from the city of Skiatook, but he said the most important thing is the worker wasn’t hurt.

Paslay said a road crew worker had left the boom on his truck in the up position while temporarily stopped. When the worker got back in the truck and pulled away, with the boom still up, he caught a three-phase electrical line carrying some 14,000 volts, Paslay said.

“He stayed on the inside (of the truck),” Paslay said, regarding the worker’s reaction. The electricity did not blow the truck’s tires or have other effects that might have been anticipated, the commissioner said.

“It was a bad deal,” Paslay said. “We’ve got it all on film. You can watch the whole thing happen from start to finish.”

Paslay said the crew member involved has been with Osage County for several years and is a good employee. The commissioner said assurances were given to the worker that he will not lose his job as a result of the incident.

“We’re excited he’s still alive,” Paslay said, adding that his gratitude that the worker survived the incident is great enough that he does not mind being criticized by the public about the whole thing.

“We will accept all negative comments from Facebook,” Paslay said.

Skiatook City Manager Dan Yancey said the incident took place Jan. 30, probably around 1 p.m. The electric line was actually a 13,200-volt line, he said. The incident resulted in a power outage of perhaps a couple of hours, affecting quite a few customers including a school, he said.

“Certainly we’re pleased in the fact that nobody was hurt in the situation,” Yancey said. The city of Skiatook provides electrical power service to its residents and businesses, and city workers had to respond and ensure the county worker was safely removed from his predicament, Yancey said.

The cost Skiatook incurred in damages and labor has been estimated at about $2,500, Yancey said. About 1,200 customers were without power for about two hours, he said. Yancey clarified that 1,200 customers means 1,200 accounts, which roughly translates as 3,000 people.