Family identifies electrocution victim
by Nick Delgado
Guam - A man in his 20's died after a freak accident where he was electrocuted while picking breadfruit in Chalan Pago. "Very high voltage and it became direct contact and he became that ground and that's what caused the electrocution," said Art Perez, spokesman for the Guam Power Authority.
It happened in a matter of minutes - a man whose family members only identify as "Rocky" was picking breadfruit off a tree along Chalan Okso Street in the central village Thursday afternoon when the unexpected happened. Rocky was apparently using a metal pole to pick the fruit. "In this case," speculated Perez, "the lines were visible but he managed to climb to a height and used a pole and that most likely led to the incident."
The 911 call was made at 3:02pm of an electrocution incident, as Rocky's pole touched a GPA transmission line that according to Perez carries 13,800 volts of electricity. "It's enough to energize a large part of the village with all the homes that are attached there and so it's more a distribution line but that level of service provides service to the surrounding community," he said.
The shock sent Rocky falling then getting himself tangled within the branches of the tree he climbed. GPA immediately turned off the power affecting areas in Chalan Pago, Sinajana, and Mangilao for about an hour, as emergency officials and GPA attempted to remove the pole then take him down from the tree.
Since yesterday's tragic incident the power authority has cut down several of the branches along the power lines and family members tell us that Rocky was returning from the U.S. and on his way back to Yap. Family members add when they approached the scene after hearing about the incident, Rocky was still alive.
The Guam Fire Department reported Rocky dead at 4:36pm. It was just last year another man died while using a metal pole to pick lemai in Mangilao, and Perez says before that another incident in Piti where the victim died while picking mangoes in Piti. It's unfortunate reports that Perez says can be avoided.
"I wouldn't allow you to find yourself in this situation, just stay away from power lines," Perez warned. "These things are not worth it just stay away from energized lines."
An autopsy was performed on Rocky this afternoon.