A Lubbock man died Friday, the victim of a lethal dose of electricity. Preliminary autopsy results indicate electrocution as the construction worker's cause of death. Medical examiners say 46-year-old Richard Tankersley took a hit of approximately 7,200 volts. It happened at a construction site near the Brownfield Highway and Indiana Avenue just before 11 o'clock Friday morning.
District Fire Chief Royce Ethridge explains what happened. "There was a line down in the ditch, and they were filling it with concrete. The gentleman was guiding the concrete over into position to dump, and they got into this overhead high wire up here. (He) took a substantial amount of voltage. The operator saw what happened and he dropped the bucket. It hit the ground, still in contact with the wire up there. Then the gentleman fell into the trench, about a 16 foot deep trench there."
Together emergency crews and construction workers removed him from the ditch. Tankersley was taken to University Medical Center where he died a short time later.
A joint investigation is now underway, involving the construction company, the Lubbock police department, and the Lubbock county medical examiner's office.