BUZZARDS BAY – Two men died instantly Saturday after an aerial basket they were in about 140 feet in the air toppled over and came crashing to the ground at a job site along the Scenic Highway.
Both men -- Joseph L. Boyd III of Fall River and John Loughran of Quincy, both 34 -- were inside an aerial basket in the truck at the time of the incident shortly before 1 p.m., according to Bourne Police Chief Dennis Woodside.
“That's a far drop,” Woodside said.
John Loughran, the father of one of the victims, broke down Saturday as he stood at the scene.
“I lost my son today, and I love him,” Loughran said. “He was doing exactly what he wanted to do being at the top of that tower. He was a wonderful kid. I love him and I'm going to miss him terribly.”
The men and truck were at property owned by Cape Cod Aggregates Corp. at 665 Scenic Highway, the police said. Both men were from a company contracted as a part of an NStar utility project. They appeared to be working underneath high-tension power lines, near the power poles, on a sandy and barren parcel of land.
An off-duty Wareham police officer noticed the upended truck from the Scenic Highway and called Bourne police, Woodside said. Other workers were also on the ground at the job site when the accident happened.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe, the state police and the federal Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating. A team of Cape firefighters specially trained for technically challenging situations were called to the scene shortly after the incident was reported.
“The scene is horrific. It's a tragic, tragic accident,” said Bourne Fire Department chaplain Glenn Stone, who was called to come to the site. “I'm just trying to comfort the families and be there for them.”
The company that owned the truck and was contracted for the work is Mass Bay Electric, according to Rhiannon D'Angelo, a spokeswoman for NStar.
A message left by the Times with the Mass Bay Electric off-hours answering service Saturday afternoon was not immediately returned. The company is based in East Boston.
OSHA most recently inspected Mass Bay Electric in 2005, according to OHSA records. Three violations were cited, all deemed serious. Two violations were for standards for aerial lifts. The fines for each violation were under $1,000.
Eighty percent of deaths from vehicle-mounted elevated platforms are a result of contact with electrical sources, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Department of Labor Standards.
In addition to electrocutions, fatalities occur from failure to use a fall restraint, from overturned trucks set on unstable ground, from falls from buckets and from slips and falls while using the bucket.
The type of truck used Saturday has a reach of 142 feet, according to Woodside.
Our hearts are deeply saddened here at Local 99 to learn of the loss of our IBEW Brothers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these two fine men and we hope the families and friends will find comfort in the Grace of God during this most difficult time.