One man was electrocuted in Martin County on Thursday while he and a cousin were trying to steal metal brackets and copper wire at an idled coal mine, according to Martin County Sheriff John Kirk.
Kirk identified the man who died as Charlie Walker Jude, 45. Police arrested Jude’s cousin, Steven Jude, 27, on charges of burglary, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and trespassing, Kirk said.
Kirk said the man died about 4 p.m. at the old Pontiki No. 2 mine, also called the Van Lear mine, at Meathouse.
Charlie Walker Jude had climbed 30 to 35 feet up a tower at a substation at the mine when he came in contact with a 70,000-volt electrical line, Kirk said. The voltage burned off Jude’s skin, Kirk said. Steven Jude told police the two thought there was no power on at the mine, Kirk said.
“They took a chance by not knowing whether it had power or not,” Kirk said.
There is usually a fence around such substations and signs warning of high voltage, Kirk said, but most of the fence at the station where the accident happened had been torn down.
By Bill Estep
Lexington Herald Leader