Tree trimmer dies after being shocked by power line in Minnetonka


A 21-year-old tree trimmer died from his injuries Wednesday after being shocked by a power line in Minnetonka, FOX 9 reports.

The incident reportedly happened about 1 p.m. on the 1900 block of Townline Road in Minnetonka, when a small branch he cut came into contact with the power line and carried electricity to the worker. The man was shocked for about 20 seconds until the branch fell and cut the electrical connection.

Authorities have yet to release the identity of the victim.

The man was reportedly left dangling from his safety equipment for about an hour as Minnetonka firefighters waited for high-angle rescue equipment to arrive. A co-worker told FOX 9 that he and fellow staff members tired to free the man from his harness, to no avail.

"I grabbed the pole, tried to throw it up there to knock the line down, but he was 50 feet up in the tree, and there was nothing we could do," the co-worker, Andrew Witucki, told FOX 9. "(It) just kept shocking him for a good 20 seconds, and then burned through the branch. The branch fell and he fell over upside down."

KSTP says emergency crews started CPR on the man when he was lowered to the ground because he had no pulse.

He was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he later died, FOX 9 says.

Homeowner Scott Truax told KSTP that he hired the crew to trim trees on his property, and he wanted the tree in the in the incident removed because "it was too close to the power lines."

An Xcel Energy official told the Star Tribune that the incident left about 2,500 residents without power from about 1:45 to 2 p.m.

In a strange turn of events, police arrested Witucki and the owner of the tree trimming company on outstanding warrants after the incident, WCCO reports.

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