Man Electrocuted At Construction Site

Fayetteville emergency responders try to reach two construction workers on top of a boom lift after it made contact with a power line at the Vue apartments under construction on Stadium Drive. One man died and three other workers were transported to Washington Regional Medical Center.
Fayetteville emergency responders try to reach two construction workers on top of a boom lift after it made contact with a power line at the Vue apartments under construction on Stadium Drive. One man died and three other workers were transported to Washington Regional Medical Center.

FAYETTEVILLE — A Joplin man was electrocuted Sunday afternoon at the construction site of The Vue apartment complex at 1100 S. Stadium Drive.

This is the second death at the site in five weeks.

Jess Wilson, 44, was standing on the platform of a boom lift installing siding when the lift came too close to overhead power lines. Wilson’s head touched one of the lines, according to a Police Department news release.

Patrick Skaggs of Joplin was working with Wilson on the lift about 25 feet in the air about 1:15 p.m., according the release. The electrical current stopped the lift from operating. Skaggs performed CPR on Wilson until the power was cut to the line and firefighters rescued them, according to police.

Wilson and Skaggs were taken to Washington Regional Medical Center where Wilson died. Skaggs was treated and released.

Brannon Rhine, 20, of Springdale, died at the construction site May 5. He was buried in a dirt pit after the sides collapsed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating that accident.

Michael Cordes, a construction worker who was leaving the site Sunday afternoon, said he was angry, but not surprised, this is the second serious incident.

“You wouldn’t believe the safety violations that I see go on here,” Cordes said. “There are workers that work on rafters without harnesses, and careless mistakes happen all the time.”

The current affected another boom lift about 60 feet away where two other men were working. Emergency personnel were able to operate the machine and rescued the two quickly, according to Brad Hardin, the battalion chief. The men did not appear to be injured but were taken to the hospital.

Craig Harguess lives nearby on Rose Avenue and was grilling outside when he heard a boom. He said he saw a flash of light and people running from the area.

Teri Shumate, a resident on Stadium Drive, said she is going to move because too much has happened since the construction has started. She said workers are at the site around the clock making noise, and cars are often parked behind her car and she can’t get out to go to work.

“The dust is also really bad,” Shumate said. “I feel like I’m always walking in the Sahara Desert during a sandstorm when I go outside.”

Houston-based Park Green Properties is partnering with New Jersey-based University Student Living to build the complex on the hillside south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard across from Fayetteville High School.