The injured lineman has been identified as Holden Beck, seen here with his family. / Courtesy of GoFundMe
CULLMAN COUNTY – A lineman working for Hixson, Tennessee-based APL Power Services, under contract with the Cullman Electric Cooperative, was involved in a serious electrical accident on Tuesday afternoon near the community of Walter. According to WRCB TV in Chattanooga, family members identified the lineman as Holden Beck, a husband and father of five children. A GoFundMe page has been set up at www.gofundme.com/3f7vd-the-beck-family.
The original call for assistance reported that a lineman had been electrocuted in the 800 block of County Road 768. Responders from the Walter Volunteer Fire Department, Cullman EMS, Air Evac Lifeteam, the Holly Pond Volunteer Fire Department, Hanceville Fire Rescue and the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office converged on the scene, setting up a staging area on County Road 703.
Beck was airlifted to UAB Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Brian Lacy, communications manager for the Cullman Electric Cooperative, said on Tuesday evening, “The lineman was involved in a contact incident, meaning he made direct contact with a power line."
When asked how dangerous the victim's situation is, Lacy said, "The voltage levels in a power line have enough electricity running through them that any kind of contact that a lineman makes can be potentially lethal. I'm sure they're taking every medical precaution at this point in time as they treat the injuries."
The incident occurred at approximately 4:22 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Late Tuesday evening, the Co-op released the following official statement:
"A lineman working for an independent contractor under contract with Cullman Electric Cooperative was involved in an electrical accident Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 22, 2017, near the Walter community in southeast Cullman County. The lineman was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Birmingham. The lineman was an employee of APL Power Services based in Chattanooga, TN. No additional information on the incident or the status of the injured lineman is available at this time. The thoughts and prayers of all Cullman Electric Cooperative employees go out to the lineman and his family."
On Wednesday afternoon, Lacy said, “Because there is an ongoing investigation, we won't have any specific details to share about the incident. Any personal information (name) or medical updates will need to come from APL or the lineman's family. Because he is not a co-op employee, we are not at liberty to release any of that information.”
The Tribune did reach out to APL Power Services for comment; however, we were told that everyone from the office is down in Alabama following the incident and that no further information is available at this time.
Lacy did confirm that the lineman was in a bucket truck working when the accident occurred.
The Co-op released a second statement Wednesday afternoon:
“The accident is currently under investigation. The lineman is being treated at UAB in Birmingham. Because he is not a co-op employee, Cullman EC will not be releasing his name or any medical information. We can say that the injuries he suffered were severe and life-threatening, so please keep this lineman, his family, his co-workers and all of the medical staff providing treatment in your prayers.”
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