The Shock of a Lifetime

From: Patrick Barbour
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 14:31:25 -0700

Here is another possibility for the Darwin Awards ... We have many transmission lines that crisscross the state (CT). These are held up by Transmission Towers of different construction. Near most urban areas these are normally "metal Ornamental Towers" (they are supposed to be prettier than wood towers). Sometimes we have folks who feel it would be nice to climb these towers and enjoy the night air. Most enjoy their view, stay away from the wires, and when they get bored, come back down. Well this is a story of a fella who was a little despondent over a recent fight with a girlfriend and decided he needed a little fresh air to clear his head. He thought he'd climb a tower.

He proceeded to climb a tower south of Hartford next to I-91. Before he got to his tower though he decided to stop for a 6 pack to help clear his thoughts.

Here our "Darwin Award winner-to-be" sits 60 feet above the highway, drinking his beer, consoling his bruised ego. Our friend had 5 beers when he decided he needed the services of a men's room. It being of such a long hike down, he unzips and decides to do his business right there off the tower. Electricity is a funny thing. You don't need to touch a wire in order to get shocked. On these 115,000 volt lines depending on the conditions, you could be as far away as 6' and still get shocked.

Well, our friend proceeded to "whiz" near the conductor (wire) when the power arced to his "stream" (salt water is a most excellent conductor of electricity) followed up to his private parts and blew him off the tower. The guys where I work had a momentary outage on this line and sent workmen to see if there was any damage. When our guys got to the scene of the accident, they found a very dead person, his fly down, what was left of his private parts smoking and a single beer left on top of the tower.

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