MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) — Two men died after a 9,000-pound metal utility pole crushed them Saturday in Marble Falls.
The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office identified the men who died as Patrick Sheesley, 30, of Wilson, Kansas and Bryan Weatherford, 49, of Windwood, Oklahoma. They worked for Maslonka Powerline Services, which has a contract with Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
According to a news release sent out Monday, the accident happened while a crew was working to replace wooden utility poles with metal ones on State Highway 71 near Twisted Oaks Drive.
Andy Felkner and his wife live next to the work site where this happened. He said his thoughts are now with the families who lost their loved ones.
“Our prayers are with them,” Felkner said, “because anytime someone dies like that, especially tragically like that, it’s such a shock to say what you’re thinking.”
Deputies said an interview with a surviving worker revealed that a metal utility pole fell onto the two men while the pole was being moved by heavy machinery. First responders received the call to respond to the double fatality at about 3:40 p.m.
Justice of the Peace Debbie Bindseil told KXAN that a metal pole weighing several thousand pounds came off a forklift and crushed two men against a trailer.
The Pedernales Electric Cooperative said the contractors were working on a transmission project to upgrade 25 miles of transmission from the Wirtz substation to the Mountain Top substation. Maslonka had the contract to offload transmission poles, according to PEC.
The sheriff’s office said the Occupational Safety & Health Administration is now investigating the accident. A spokesman told KXAN that the agency has up to six months to complete its investigation.
KXAN is now working to get comment from Maslonka Powerline Services, which is based in Spokane, Washington.