Arizona man is killed after 120' fall

June 8, 2005 - A 43-year-old Arizona man was killed Monday after falling 120 feet from a partially dismantled tower in Lincoln, Illinois. A spokesperson for Logan County Coroner Robert Thomas' office identified the deceased to as Toby Wheale of Glendale. His name had been withheld earlier this week until police could notify his next of kin.

Toby, according to Verizon spokesman Bill Kula, fell from approximately the 120' level of a 240' tower that was being decommissioned on Fifth Street Rd.  One hundred feet of the structure had already been disassembled and removed. The deceased was employed by Wireless Horizon Tower Co. of St. Peters, Missouri.
Wheale was part of a five-man crew working to dismantle the microwave tower. He had previously worked for Wireless Horizon and had returned to the tower erection firm just six days before he fell, a spokesman for the Missouri erector said.

OSHA representatives were at the Verizon site earlier Monday and have begun their
investigation. It is currently unknown as to why the tower erector fell and whether or not he was wearing the proper personal fall protection equipment and was secured to the tower or a safety line.

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Toby Wheale was the fifth person in the nation to die this year from falling from a tower. Ten employees were killed during 2004  and there were 12 deaths in 2003. On May 16 an accident took the life of a 55-year-old Colorado man when he fell nearly 100 feet from a tower in New Hampshire.


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