UPDATE: Sept. 24, 2015 – John Richardson, 24, was identified as the man who was severely shocked while installing internet services yesterday. He is in a medically induced coma and will likely be so for many more weeks, according to a GoFundMe page that has been set up for his recovery which may take months. His wife, Elaina Richardson, will have to leave her job and her home to be with him in Fort Wayne, Ind. for his extensive recovery treatments.
An Internet service provider tower technician working on a 20-foot tower in New Carlisle, Ind. was severely shocked by a live wire adjacent to the structure and was later airlifted to Memorial Hospital yesterday evening. The accident happened behind a home on the 28000 block of Chicago Trail. Police dispatch received the 911 call around 5:30 p.m.
“What first responders found when they arrived on scene was a man who was injured and hanging from his safety harness about 25 feet in the air on a tower located on that property,” said St. Joseph County Police Asst. Chief Bill Thompson.
Authorities say the injured man is John Richardson, 24, of Michigan City. He is an employee of Surf Air Wireless in LaPorte.
Surf Air Wireless did not return a call by Wireless Estimator for further information regarding the incident.
A neighbor told a local news station that at least one other worker was near the tower’s base when Richardson was shocked.
St. Joseph County Police were assisted at the scene by New Carlisle firefighters and specially trained and equipped personnel from Clay Fire Territory and other area departments, because of the specialized nature of the rescue.
Although Wireless Internet service provider technicians typically climb smaller towers, a number of their structures are at considerable heights, such as the self-supporting tower behind Surf Air’s headquarters. The company also utilizes water towers for its antennas and workers are required to climb them, especially in icy conditions when internet service is frequently interrupted.
On Aug. 31, 2015, a broadband tower technician died when he fell off of a water tower in Brownsville, Tex.