11/22/11 — Worker dies in accident

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Worker dies in accident

By Gary Popp
Published in News on November 22, 2011 1:46 PM

A Tri-County Electric employee was killed Sunday night while making repairs to a power line on N.C. 111, just north of the Wayne/Duplin county line.

Donnie Deaver, 45, of Dobbersville Road in Mount Olive, was thrown from the bucket of a boom truck after the knuckle of the boom was struck by a passing tractor trailer about 9:50 p.m., authorities said.

State Highway Patrol Trooper M.A. Holloman said Deaver's fatal injuries were received from the 26-foot fall from the extended bucket.

Deaver died at the emergency room of Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Holloman said the large truck, which was pulling a 53-foot trailer, had reduced its speed to 15-18 mph, in the 55 mph zone, before making contact with the Tri-County Electric vehicle.

The driver was aware of the utility vehicle, but it appeared he did not see the boom extended over the northbound lane, Holloman said.

He said the flashing lights on the vehicle were operating at the time of impact, but the single-knuckle boom was not illuminated.

"It is very likely he never saw the boom," Holloman said.

A second employee was working with Deaver with the accident occurred. The other employee was standing on the ground when impact was made.

Deaver was employed with Tri-County Electric since 2005 and worked as a first-class line man.

Tri-County Electric General Manager Mike Davis said he is not aware of an employee being killed on the job in his 36 years with the company.

"It is very unfortunate," he said. "Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Deaver family."

Davis said the company is a close-knit group and the employees work very hard.

Holloman said no one has been charged in the incident at this time, but the final report has not been completed.