SHELBYVILLE – Dean Batey, senior lineman for Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, died from injuries sustained in a fall as he tried to escape a bucket truck fire on Monday afternoon, July 9. An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the fire and the actions that led to Batey’s death.
Batey was repairing a security light in Beech Grove, Tenn., when the incident occurred. Homeowners who were outside during the time of the incident reported that Batey was working on the light when a fire suddenly ignited at the end of the boom connected to the truck’s bucket. As Batey attempted to lower the bucket and cradle it to safety, he was unable to complete the descent and was forced to release his safety harness and climb from the bucket. It is estimated that he jumped 12 to 15 feet from the bucket and reportedly landed on his side.
Batey was conscious and responsive when first responders transported him to Unity Medical Center in Manchester, and a life flight helicopter was on the scene ready to transport as medical teams worked to stabilize Batey. His injuries from the fall were severe, and he died before he could be airlifted.
“We do not know at this time how the fire started,” says DREMC President and CEO Michael Watson. “The incident is still under investigation.”
“Accidents such as this are a terrible experience, not only for Dean’s family and friends, but also for his fellow employees,” says Watson. “Electric linemen have a unique bond. Their jobs are extremely dangerous, and they rely heavily on their own skills and training to keep them safe every day.”
“Batey was an experienced lineman and valuable member of our team, and this is a great loss to our cooperative family and community,” comments