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[TowerTalk] Tower Accident in NC

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Tower Accident in NC
From: (Rush Johnson)
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 09:26:05 -0500
A very tragic tower accident occurred in NC yesterday.  Details

WOODLEAF -- A woman watched from the ground as her husband, son
                  and a family friend plummeted 1,000 feet to their
deaths from a radio
                  transmission tower in western Rowan County Friday.

                  The three were painters ascending the 1,500-foot tower
owned by WFMX
                  (FM 105.7) of Statesville about 11:45a.m., when
something went wrong
                  with their safety cable, Sheriff George Wilhelm said.

                  "All three were apparently attached to the same cable,
and a fourth person
                  was on the ground operating a (motorized) winch to
hoist them up,'' he
                  said. "We're not exactly sure what happened, but it
looks like the cable
                  came off the winch at the bottom.''

                  Authorities identified the men as Daniel Foster
Zortman, 40, of Corapeake
                  in Gates County, and his stepson, Ronald Dean Brooks,
16. Zortman
                  owned Quality Power Painting of Red Oak, Va. The third
victim, Charles
                  Shively, 19, was a friend who worked occasionally with
the other two.

                  The three apparently were wearing safety harnesses and
were attached to
                  the cable by clip-on devices, Wilhelm said. The site
is off Woodleaf Road
                  near the Rowan-Iredell line.

                  Wanda Zortman, Daniel Zortman's wife, called 911 from
a telephone at the
                  tower base.

                  She was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center in
Salisbury, where she
                  was treated for shock and burns to her hands when she
apparently touched
                  the moving cable. Investigators had not been able to
talk with her because
                  of her condition.

                  "She was hysterical,'' Wilhelm said.

Let's all triple check our safety equipment so it won't happen....

RJ -- W4QA

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