Worker rescued from tree after being shocked

June 18, 2009 7:54:54 AM PDT
A dramatic rescue unfolded in South Jersey after a worker suffered an electrical shock high in a tree. The owner of a Medford Lakes based tree service, Tim Williams, 42, was shocked while working on a job around 10:30 a.m. Monday in the area of Central Street and Chapel Avenue in Merchantville, Camden County.

He took 13,000 volts when a limb broke and tumbled into a PSE&G power line.

"I saw an arc, then I saw him fall back over the tree," said witness James Mallon.

Homeowner William DeGregory hired Williams to cut the tree down. After the shock, Williams was hanging limp, held by a safety rope around his waist. DeGregory called 911.

"He started moving, and it looked like he was trying to get off the tree. I said 'Ted, stay still, they're coming," DeGregory said. "I think he was trying to get up to get his breath because of the rope wrapped around his stomach."

Rescuers arrived quickly and held Williams in the tree until a fire department's tower ladder could be brought in. Williams was able to step out of the tree and was taken to Cooper University Hospital.

John Rastelli was working with Williams.

"He was up the tree, cut the branch, hit the wire, and I guess the electricity went through the branch and into his arm," Rastelli said.

Williams was transferred from Cooper to Crozier-Chester Hospital late Monday afternoon to be treated for his burns. Action News is told Williams is in stable condition, and is alert.

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