OSHA And DPS Look Into Driver's Electrocution

Wednesday, February 4th 2009, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The investigation continues into the electrocution of a truck driver.  The victim's family made funeral plans on Wednesday, while authorities try to determine what happened.

The victim in Tuesday's accident was 26-year-old Robert Young of Vian, Oklahoma.  He was an experienced driver for Stone Trucking.

02/03/2009  Related Story:  Tulsa Driver Electrocuted By Power Lines

The load he was hauling on 36th Street North was too high to go under a Cox Cable television line.  Authorities believe the driver was attempting to swing it out of the way, when it touched a PSO power line, which energized it with 4,200 volts.       

The Tulsa Fire Department used a bucket truck to remove Young from the top of the heat exchanger, but he was killed.

Both the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Weights and Measurements Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the scene.  The Department of Public Safety is checking into whether the escort vehicle was equipped with a required pole to check for wires that will interfere with the load.  OSHA will examine whether proper safety practices and federal regulations were followed.

Stone Trucking is based in Kiefer and specializes in oversized loads.  The company frequently hauls large oil field equipment to Houston and delivers heat exchangers made locally to destinations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Stone Trucking has 73 trucks and 67 drivers. DOT's safety website notes Stone's performance merits the most frequent inspections.  In the last inspection, the agency rated Stone deficient for driver and vehicle safety, but not deficient for safety management.

The company had 6 accidents in 4.8 million miles driven.  Five of those involved injuries, but no fatalities.

A spokesman for Stone Trucking wouldn't comment on the fatal accident in Tulsa, but said of the driver, "Our hearts and prayers are with his family.  He was a good driver and a dear friend."

According to OSHA, their investigation may take 6 months to complete.

Funeral services for Young are pending with a funeral home in Sallisaw.