NC lineman in bucket truck touches power line, blasted by thousands of volts

TC Simpson died while working on power lines for Pike Electric.
TC Simpson died while working on power lines for Pike Electric. Mulberry-Fairplains Fire/Rescue

An electrical lineman blasted Tuesday with thousands of volts of electricity has died of his injuries in North Carolina, according to the Mulberry-Fairplains Fire and Rescue.

T.C. Simpsom was working on a power line in the Mulberry community of Wilkes County, about 80 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, when the accident happened. He died after spending two days in critical condition, according to the department.

Typical voltage for a local transmission line is 13,800 volts, experts say, while long distance lines can carry 155,000 to 700,000 volts, according to Slate.com. It's unclear which type of line shocked Simpson.

He worked for Pike Electric, which is listed as one of the nation's leading providers of transmission and substation maintenance. The accident happened mid-morning Tuesday, while Simpson was off the ground in a bucket truck, reported the Journal Patriot.

He was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital by helicopter, the newspaper reported.

A GoFundMe campaign created to help his family has since been shared 1,500 times. As of noon Friday, more than 200 people had donated nearly $12,000 toward a $15,000 goal. Commenters on the page cited the dangers of working with power lines. Simpson is referred to as a "Line brother," by the campaign.

"We know our Lineman have very dangerous jobs and we know this can happen to any of our Lineman at any given time," says the GoFundMe page. "We pray everyday they walk out that door that our men return home safe. What I truly love is the bond we have for our Line Family."

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs