Tree trimming safety around power lines

By Jennifer Waugh, The Morning Show anchor, investigative reporter, jwaugh@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 29 2014 09:37:56 AM EDT
Updated On: Aug 29 2014 09:43:13 AM EDT

One man is dead and another in the hospital after a backyard tree-trimming accident. Saint Johns County Deputies say they both came in contact with high-voltage power lines.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

In the wake of Thursday's tragedy in St. Johns County in which a man was electrocuted while doing tree work, we want to help you stay safe if you decide to trim any trees around power lines.

Chris Henderson of JEA said the electric company will come out to your home for free and safely trim back limbs that might be close to the power lines leading to your home.

"People don't realize the danger," Henderson said.

He said anyone on private property who wants to take down limbs or an entire tree can call JEA. It will not completely remove the tree, but it will make it safe for you or a tree trimming company so no one gets hurt. Again, JEA provides this service for free.

On Thursday, 42-year-old Chad Janes was electrocuted when a limb he cut from a tree on his property on Honey Branch Lane fell onto a power line. The power traveled through the limb and killed him.

Janes' neighbor, 53-year-old Joseph Sheffield, rushed to help him and was also shocked. He was taken to a hospital in serious condition.

"As hard as it may be, you need to stay away from any line on the ground," Henderson said.

He said the best thing to do is to call 911.

Another reminder from JEA is, if a power line ever falls on your car, stay inside. Getting out could kill you.

"Call for help on your phone or to a neighbor," Henderson said.

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