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  • Last update: August 27, 2013 - 8:37 PM

Minneapolis

Worker dies after touching power line

A worker behind a multiunit residence in south Minneapolis touched a power line while installing gutters, was shocked and died last week, officials said Tuesday.

Ryan C. Mastracchio, 34, of Plymouth, was killed Thursday afternoon while working behind the residence in the 3200 block of Grand Avenue S., according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.

Electrocutions are one of the more unusual causes of work-related deaths in Minnesota, according to state safety officials. Mastracchio’s is the first this year in the state and the eighth since 2008. By comparison over the same time period, 24 people have died in falls and 23 have died from being crushed.

Mastracchio was shocked shortly before 3 p.m. when he “was up on a ladder and installing a downspout that was next to the power line,” Minneapolis police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said. “At some point, [the] victim touched or grabbed the power line and was electrocuted.”

Mastracchio died at Hennepin County Medical Center less than an hour later, the medical examiner’s office said.

Xcel spokesman Tom Hoen said workers should always stay at least 10 feet away from overhead electric lines.

James Honerman, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, said his agency continues to investigate.

Mastracchio was a standout linebacker on the Wayzata High School football team in the mid-1990s, according to his family. Among his survivors are three children.

Paul Walsh

 

Shorewood

Homicide suspect’s children are found safe

Authorities have safely located the three young children of the Shorewood woman accused of killing her boyfriend at their home.

Jetaun Wheeler, 29, was charged Monday with killing her 58-year-old boyfriend Aug. 1, beating him up with a closet rod, wrapping him in plastic and duct tape and stuffing him into a freezer.

Wheeler, a mother of three children believed to be 10, 8 and 7, was arrested last Thursday, but authorities said they didn’t know where her children were. On Tuesday, South Lake Minnetonka Police said the children were found and put in protective custody with Hennepin County Child Protection.

The Hennepin County medical examiner has not yet identified the victim, who had told family and friends he was leaving Wheeler to go to Chicago. Wheeler, who authorities said has been uncooperative, went to high school in Chicago and has lived in Duluth.

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