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Officials ID subcontractor electrocuted at Greenfield site

Officials on Thursday identified a cable-company subcontractor who was killed after suffering an electrical shock on a Greefield job site two days before.

A medical examiner’s report identified the worker as Miguel A. Aburto, 36, of Milwaukee. At the time of his death, Aburto was working for the Milwaukee company Tech Broadband Services, which was a subcontractor employed by Charter Communications at a site behind a furniture store at 8380 West Layton Ave. in Greenfield.

OSHA Records show the company has not been cited for a violation in the past five years. Attempts to reach Tech Broadband Services were unsuccessful by press time Thursday. OSHA is investigating the incident.

According to the medical examiner’s report, Aburto was working from the cherry picker of a truck on Tuesday while a fellow employee was on the ground below. Aburto was trying to pull a cable over nearby trees by using a rope that had a metal wire running through it and a metal weight on one end. The electrical pole he was working on had phone and cable lines running below a high-voltage power line carrying 40,800 volts. Aburto accidentally threw the weighted rope too high and was shocked when the metal weight touched the high-voltage lines.

When Aburto’s  fellow worker tried to put a ladder up to the cherry picker to get him down, he was shocked and fell down. The truck itself had become electrified, making it impossible for the worker to reach the controls that would have let him lower the cherry picker. He called 911 and We Energies cut off electrical service to the area.

Not until the power was off, though, could first responders reach the victim in the bucket. Authorities pronounced Aburto dead at the scene. Fire Capt. Jon Cohn said emergency crews had to exercise restraint so they wouldn’t also become victims.

The worker who had tried to rescue Aburto was taken to Froedtert Hospital to be treated for his own injuries. 

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