TVPPA and its member utilities across the Valley are united in grief following the July 9 death of Dean Batey, a senior lineman at Duck River EMC, Shelbyville, TN.

According to officials at the cooperative, Batey was working in a bucket when a fire suddenly ignited at the end of the boom. He reportedly attempted to lower the bucket, but was unsuccessful. Witnesses said he released his safety harness and jumped, falling 12 to 15 feet.

Batey was said to have been conscious and responsive immediately after the fall, but succumbed to his injuries after being transported to a Manchester, TN, hospital.

“Dean was an experienced lineman and valuable member of our team,” said Michael Watson, president/CEO at Duck River EMC. “Accidents such as this are a terrible experience, not only for Dean’s family and friends, but also for his fellow employees.

“This is a great loss to our cooperative family and community. We appreciate thoughts and prayers for Dean’s family, as well as our cooperative family, as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” Watson said.

Batey, 58, signed on at Duck River EMC in 1999. He came to the cooperative from Osborne Electric, where he’d spent the previous two decades and risen to the rank of foreman.

An investigation is under way, with Tennessee Job Training and Safety, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the bucket-truck manufacturer joining Duck River EMC officials in that effort.