TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina sheriff says a utility worker has been killed after cutting a tree which had fallen on a power line following a severe storm.

Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman told local media outlets that 31-year-old Brian Keith Wilmoth was cutting the tree Wednesday morning. Bowman said as Wilmoth cut the tree, the power lines sprang up and threw the tree on him.

The accident occurred just before 4:30 a.m. at an intersection west of Taylorsville.

Wilmoth was identified as a worker for Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and Energy United. His is the first confirmed fatality tied to the storms that rolled through the area on Monday.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.