The wife of an Estill County teacher and baseball coach who was electrocuted in May has filed a lawsuit against Kentucky Utilities.
Attorneys for Rebecca Crowe argue in a lawsuit filed in Estill Circuit Court late last month that “KU failed to take reasonable steps to properly maintain and manage its transmission lines, transformers, and/or breakers,” which they say led to the death of Blake Crowe.
A flagpole at Blake Crowe’s home in Irvine fell and hit an electrical wire, according to previously published reports. When he arrived home and stepped out onto the wet grass May 9, he was electrocuted, Estill County Coroner Jimmie Wise said at the time. Wise called Crowe’s death a “freak accident.”
The lawsuit alleges that KU was negligent in failing to identify and fix ”low hanging transmission lines, defective transformers and breakers due to readily foreseeable environmental hazards.”
The suit says Crowe “was exercising all reasonable precautions to protect his safety” but that his “death was reasonably foreseeable for any operator of any overhead electrical service, including KU.”
KU spokesman Daniel Lowry said in an emailed statement that “we believe the facts show this was a tragic accident.” He declined to comment further, citing pending litigation, but pointed to details in an investigation report KU filed with the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
According to the report, “high winds blew over a small diameter aluminum flagpole with two flags attached and it contacted an energized single phase 7200-volt conductor.”
The report says Crowe was initially “found lying on the ground a couple of feet from the base of the flagpole” and was pulled away from it by his wife and neighbors before fire and EMS crews arrived.
A KU technician who responded to the home found the flagpole still in contact with the conductor and removed it, the report states.
Crowe, 28, was a teacher, head coach of the Estill County High School baseball team and father to two sons.