Home > Fatalities, Industrial, Shock > Contractor Killed Working on Allegheny Energy Project in WV

Contractor Killed Working on Allegheny Energy Project in WV

WEST VIRGINIA – A man was killed in a Tucker County helicopter accident Saturday. The helicopter was being used to work on Allegheny Energy’s TrAILCo (Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Co.) project.

Three others injured in the crash were discharged Sunday after spending the night at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

West Virginia State Police identified the three as Ryan Joseph Lang, 31, of Portage, Ind.; Jeffrey M. McKay, 34, from Olive Hill, Ky.; and Robert A. Rogers, 40, of Dacula, Ga.

The fourth person was pronounced dead at the scene, Sgt. J.L. Clay said. The name of the 51-yearold man is being withheld until his next of kin have been notified.

The helicopter, owned by Winco Power Line Services of Aurora, Ore., was working for PAR Services of Kansas City, Miss., on one of the large towers installed as part of Allegheny Energy’s TrAILCo project. Three of those on board are PAR Services employees, Clay said.

The firm is building a 500-kilovolt transmission line from near Loudin, Va., across West Virginia to a new substation in Mount Morris, Pa.

Clay said in a news release that he and TFC M.S. Wetzel, both of the Parsons Detachment, answered a 10:30 a.m. Saturday call to a helicopter crash off Lead Mine Road, near Thomas, Tucker County.

The helicopter was being used to pick up the subjects, who were at the top of a large metal powerline tower, he said. The helicopter apparently maneuvered underneath the suspended wires and may have struck the wires, causing the crash, he said.

Questions about the accident were referred to the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Authority, who are handling the investigation.

A Par Electrical representative referred all questions to Allegheny Energy.

The helicopter crash should not affect construction of Allegheny Energy’s TrAIL high-power electric line in that area, Allegheny Energy spokesman Doug Colafella said Sunday.

He confirmed that the helicopter was flying for a subcontractor on the TrAIL project, and said it had a pilot and three line workers on board.

“I want to make it clear that this was not an Allegheny Energy helicopter, and these were not Allegheny Energy employees,” Colafella said.

“I have no details as to how the crash occurred,” Colafella said. “I just know that its a very tragic accident. We’re very upset this occurred.

“This is a really important project for our company. Safety has been a commitment. We emphasize safety in every aspect, from the most dangerous to most routine.”

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