Stockbridge man may have been electrocuted in freak power line accident

Autopsy will be needed for final determination

STOCKBRIDGE, VT - A 50-year-old Stockbridge resident appears to have been accidentally electrocuted this morning while standing in a yard watching someone else cut branches from a tree high above him, Vermont State Police are reporting.

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    Brendan Smith died at the scene near a residence at the end of Children's Camp Road which sits next to the White River on the western edge of the hamlet of Gaysville.

    Vermont State Police Detective Sergeant Micheal Dion said that Smith had been standing with family and friends shortly before noon today watching the tree trimming effort when "one of the branches was accidentally dropped onto a live power line."

    Witnesses later told investigators that they did not see the falling branch nor any debris hit Smith but they did see him drop to the ground at that moment and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

    "His body may have been touching some equipment which might have conducted the electricity through his body," Dion wrote in a statement released Monday afternoon, saying that a formal determination as to the cause of death is awaiting an autopsy that will be conducted at the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Burlington.

    "State Police did not find any suspicious circumstances during their investigation at the scene," Dion noted.

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