Man electrocuted at Fayetteville construction site

The Vue apartments, as seen from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Fayetteville police are investigating the death of a 44-year-old man who was electrocuted Sunday at the construction site of The Vue apartments on Parris Avenue just south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Jess Wilson, of Joplin, was working to install siding when the boom lift he was standing in maneuvered too close to overhead power lines. According to a police news release, Wilson’s head touched one of the lines.

According to the news release, Patrick Skaggs of Joplin was with Wilson on the lift at 1:17 p.m. when the accident happened. The electrical current disabled the boom lift, causing the two men to be stranded about 25 feet from the ground. Police said Skaggs performed CPR on Wilson while he waited for the electricity to be shut off and for firefighters to reach them.

Wilson and Skaggs were both transported to Washington Regional Medical Center, where Wilson later died from his injuries. Skaggs was treated and released.

According to reports, two other workers felt the surge of electricity in a second lift about 60 feet away. They were also transported to the hospital.

This is the second death involving construction crews at the site in five weeks.

Brannon Rhine was killed after jumping into a dirt hole to clear debris when crews hit a sewer line while working at the site on May 5.

The hole collapsed leaving Rhine trapped inside. Co-workers tried to uncover Rhine’s face, but police said he was unresponsive when they arrived. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating that accident.

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