WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - Man Electrocuted in McMinn County
Thursday, July 3 2014, 06:43 PM EDT
Man Electrocuted in McMinn County
Updated Story

A man dies on the job after his truck makes contact with a power line, causing an explosion.

The electrocution happened as Billy Dougherty, who's from Kingsport, was on a delivery Wednesday morning in Etowah.  Dougherty works for Koch Food.
"I heard the sirens go off, and I happened to look up and I saw the black smoke billowing up," said Will Meres.

Meres said he never thought his Wednesday would start like this.

"I walked alongside the truck and when I got to the back of the truck I could see the man lying there and he was pretty much beat up then and it was a gruesome sight," said Meres.

Though he tried to rush to help, it was too late.

"I said Lord help that family, it was terrible, because I could see that it wasn't anything that anybody could do for that man," said Meres.

Deputies say 63-year-old Billy Dougherty was delivering grain to a chicken farm on County Road 609. That's when his truck made contact with a power line causing a huge explosion.

"We think he was in the process of swinging the boom up towards the silo when it made contact with the electrical wires," said McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.

The boom is an arm that comes off the back of the truck to load the grain into the silo. At this time, we don't know how long he's worked for Koch Foods or what led up to the accident, but deputies are calling his death accidental.

Sheriff Joe Guy said this accident makes the second electrocution in the county this year.

"All of us get in a hurry sometimes as we're going about our daily duties and do things that we do every day and not really thinking about what we're doing and it's very easy to make a mistake sometimes," said Sheriff Guy.

Meanwhile the accident left nearby residents without power for half an hour Wednesday.

"The main thing was to make sure the power was off so the other rescue crews could get in here and take care of the fire," said Ronnie Camp from Etowah Utilities.

As for Meres, this accident has left a lasting impression.

"It's a terrible thing, he's trying to make a living for his family and boom it's all gone," said Meres.

TOSHA is now investigating, which is policy for any workplace accident.  Ours calls to Koch Foods have not been returned.

By Jerry Askin
Previous Story
A man was killed Wednesday morning in McMinn County when his truck came in contact with a powerline.

According to McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy, Billy L. Dougherty, 63, of Kingsport and an employee of Koch foods, was unloading grain from a truck into a silo at a farm on County Road 609 around 8:45 am when the electrocution occurred.

"Based on the initial investigation, it appears Mr. Dougherty was attempting to blow feed grain from his tanker truck into a feed silo when the truck's boom came in contact with some power lines," said Sheriff Guy. "The end of the truck tanker where Mr. Dougherty was working quickly burst into flames and other people on the scene couldn't get him out of the truck."

Englewood and Etowah Rural Fire Departments, along with AMR EMS, responded along with the Sheriffs Office.

"Agricultural work can be especially dangerous," added Sheriff Guy, "and one mistake can result in a tragedy like this."Man Electrocuted in McMinn County

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