A worker fell to his death Monday afternoon just west of Cedar Rapids, while working with a crew that was restoring power lost in the weekend storm. Captain Brian Gardner, Commander of the Patrol Division in the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, says this was a crew that came from another state and had been working on a big transmission line that comes from the Duane Arnold Energy Center in Palo.
They work for Hooper Corporation out of Madison, Wisconsin. A main transmission line goes through the area where they were working, the captain says none of the large lines or towers appeared to be damaged. Many smaller poles were leaning over in the area where they were working, and he wasn’t sure just what they were working on at the time. But the worker did not fall from an electric transmission tower in the incident.
They were using a utility "boom truck," with a basket on the end of the extendible arm. Captain Gardner says somehow the machine malfunctioned, the basket came loose from the truck and the basket and the worker fell about 90 feet to the ground.
Captain Gardner says there will be no criminal charges filed, and Iowa OSHA will come and conduct an investigation, to determine if any civil penalties will be levied against the employer. He says law enforcement officers at the work site "just did some preliminary work for them." The worker was a Wisconsin resident.