FT. STOCKTON - Tragedy struck Fort Stockton on Wednesday when a man cutting tree limbs near power lines was electrocuted. The accident forced electricity to be cut off to more than 1,000 customers for several hours.
Not everyone realizes how dangerous it can be to cut trees near power lines but for one Fort Stockton man, it ended in tragedy. NewsWest 9 spoke to officials as well as tree cutting services to find out how you can cut trees near power lines and do it safely.
Cliff Harris, Sheriff of the Pecos County Sheriff's Department, said, "Around 6:20 last (Wednesday) night, the Sheriff's Department received a call in reference to a subject that had been electrocuted. Upon arrival, they found a subject hanging through the top of some trees where he had been up there trying to trim some branches away from a power line and apparently got into the power line and it electrocuted him."
The accident caused Texas-New Mexico Power Co. (TNMP), who services the area, to cut off power to 1,700 homes and businesses in Fort Stockton and Sanderson.
Eric Paul, Spokesman for TNMP, said, "When our crew members arrived, they were asked to de-energize some additional power lines right in that immediate area that would enable the first responders to safely attend to the victim."
Luis Galvan, Owner/Operator of Young Pro Tree Services, offers this advice for anyone who plans on cutting trees near a power line.
"Make sure and call your electric service provider. Let them know you need a tree trimming order and they will send out an inspector to visualize, to actually inspect the tree to see how close it is within their property. They require all people who will be working on or near or around those power lines a minimum of ten feet from those transmission lines," Galvan said.
The Pecos Sheriffs Department, TNMP and NewsWest 9 offers their deepest condolences for the family of Cecilo Galindo.
"We'd like to offer our condolences to the family of the victim and we're very sorry for their loss," Paul said.
For more information on tree safety you can visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration online at