By Rachel Baldwin
BELO - Sometimes taking matters into your own hands is not a good idea. That fact rings true in an incident that ended in tragedy that occurred Thursday near Belo on State Road 65.
According to information released by West Virginia State Police Trooper D.C. Moore, Thomas Smith, 60, of Elmer Brown Drive in Belo, died Thursday afternoon after he came into contact with a live electrical line while attempting to cut and remove brush from around a power pole and lines directly behind his home.
Moore said Smith was approximately 25 feet in the air on an electrical pole when he made contact with the live wire and fell to the ground when the electrical current swept through his body. Neighbors who made the emergency call to 911 said they heard what sounded like a loud explosion (the transformer blew up), then the electricity in that vicinity went out. Bystanders located Smith and attempted to revive him but were not successful.
Emergency responders with the Delbarton Volunteer Fire Department were sent to the scene, as well as medics with STAT Ambulance Service. Medical care was provided, but to no avail. Mingo County Medical Examiner Mike Casey was called to the location and pronounced Smith dead at the scene. The body was taken to Chafin Funeral Home at Delbarton for further examination.
Smith lived at the location with his wife, but she was said to have been away from home when the electrocution occurred.