Police arrested the driver who struck the linemen while driving a pickup truck. The driver was traveling north on Route 77 when he veered to the shoulder of the road and hit the workers. The driver then ran from the scene. Florida state troopers later arrested him.
The linemen had been working along the highway to restore power to residents who had been affected by Hurricane Michael. The Florida State Patrol Official Press Release shows that the linemen were ages 22, 52 and 60.
The dangers of working on or around high voltage lines are numerous. This accident is a somber reminder that line workers’ jobs entail more than just working with high voltage.
The driver, currently held without bond, must go back to court in December. The Florida Highway Patrol continues their investigation of this accident.
West Florida Electric Cooperative, the employer of one of the victims, wrote a statement on Facebook the day following the accident (only a portion of the message follows):
…We ask that you pray for the families of our fallen comrades and for the safety of our linemen in the field working tirelessly to restore your power. #LINEMENSTRONG #REMEMBER
Lee Electrical Construction, Inc, the employer of two of the linemen, also wrote a statement on Facebook. As of this writing, the company has not made any other public statements out of respect for the families of the victims.
This non-profit organization exists to memorialize those line workers who have died or sustained a severe injury while at work. They financially support the families of those fallen on a case-by-case basis as needs arise.
They also provide an industry service by consolidating accident and injury information publicly. The goal with this information-sharing is to help make the industry safer for workers.