HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. (July 3, 2014) – An Indiana man died Wednesday after a freak accident on a cell phone tower.
Joel Metz, 28, was a part of a four-person crew working on a Verizon cell phone tower off of Kentucky 36 in Harrison County.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department said there were two workers on the ground and two, including Metz, on top of the tower. They were replacing booms.
Sometime during their work, authorities said, something went wrong with the rigging which caused a cable to come lose and strike Metz, killing him instantly.
“It got within two feet of where it was going and something broke. And then the 1,800-pound boom failed,” explained Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton to WDKY Fox 56. “Not too many people used to seeing that. And it’s a guy you’ve been working next to… Nobody else was injured and they’re just, they’re very much beside themselves.”
Metz was hanging in his safety harness for several hours before another crew brought his body down. He’d been working about 240 feet in the air.
Work on the tower has been halted. Crews from OSHA, Verizon and Fortune Wireless were inspecting the accident site Thursday.
According to his Facebook page, Metz attended Plainfield High School. He shared several photos of him on the job at different work sites and also acknowledged how dangerous his work was.
A relative told FOX59, the young father was engaged to be married.
Grant Co. Deputy Coroner Chris Butche says the cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head due to multiple skull fractures. The manner of death is accidental.