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Electrocution victim picked up live wire

February 15, 2002

Electrocution victim picked up live wire



By STACEY DANZUSO
chbbureau@innernet.net


WARFORDSBURG, Pa. - A Glen Burnie, Md., man died Wednesday night after he shot down a live electrical wire and then grabbed it with his hand, Pennsylvania State Police in McConnellsburg, Pa., said.

Christopher Jay Daniel, 18, was pronounced dead at Bedford Memorial Hospital at 6:47 p.m. The cause of death was irreversible heart damage as a result of contact with a high voltage electrical power line, police said.

Daniel was target shooting with William Leibman, 28, of Pasadena, Md., in a farm field east of Old 126 in Brush Creek Township, south of Town Hill, Pa., police said.

The friends had come to Pennsylvania to do some target shooting on land owned by Leibman's mother, Trooper Richard Cutchall said.

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Both men shot electrical insulators, which hold wires in place, off several wooden utility poles, causing a high voltage line to fall to the ground, police said.

The wire set the field on fire, and the pair tried to put it out, Cutchall said.

Daniel grabbed the wire with his left hand and was electrocuted, he said.

Six insulators were shot off two utility poles, Allegheny Power spokesman Mike Grandillo said.

The downed wire left 261 customers in the area without power for almost three hours Wednesday night, Grandillo said.

Grandillo advised people not to shoot at electrical insulators and never to touch a fallen wire or any object in contact with one.

"Anyone who sees a downed power line should always assume it is energized and keep away from it," he said.

Raystown Ambulance Service, Needmore Volunteer Fire Co., Conemaugh Med-Start Helicopter Crew and Allegheny Power assisted police at the scene.

Cutchall said police continued to investigate the incident.

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