October 20, 2019

One man killed, another critical after accident involving power line Crane touches live wire during work at Hermon subdivision

HERMON – One man died and another was critically injured after both were involved in an electrical accident Wednesday morning while working on a modular home at the Clearview Estates subdivision in this town near Bangor, according to Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Michael Burgess.

The incident occurred shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Lily Drive when a crane at the site bumped into overhead power lines. The crane was touching the home that the two people were working underneath.

“This is an accident,” Hermon fire Lt. Kelli Leighton said at the scene.

When Leighton arrived at the site, CPR already was being done on one of the victims, she said. The other was still breathing.

Killed in the accident was Angel Vallespi, 24, of Portland. Robert McLeod of Harrington, whose age wasn’t available, was taken to a Bangor hospital.

The crane operator, Scott Sinclair of Pittsfield, Mass., also was taken to the hospital because he was so shaken up by the incident, Leighton said.

All three men were subcontractors who were working to put homes into place at the subdivision.

Central Maine Power crews were dispatched to the site. Power was knocked out in the area but had been restored by 6 p.m., according to a CMP representative.

“It’s always a tragedy and just important for everyone to know we feel terrible, and our condolences go out to the families,” CMP spokesman John Carroll said Wednesday.

He urged caution at all times when working around power lines.

“You’re not permitted to be working at any time within 10 feet of an energized power line,” Carroll said.

Anyone working near power lines should call the power company to have a protective covering put on the line.

“That’s a fundamental safety practice as well as a state law. That doesn’t mean that it would have made a difference in this case,” Carroll said.

He added that when overhead equipment is being used, people on the ground should not be touching the machinery.

Wind is believed to have been a factor in the incident. Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived at the site shortly after 11 a.m. to investigate.

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