Hoopa Man Dies From Fall While Working for PG&E Contractor
A Hoopa man died yesterday while clearing trees from lines in the Weitchpec area. Kenneth Arlen Buck Williams, age 26, was working for a PG&E contractor clearing downed limbs to make sure power ran to homes in Humboldt and beyond.
Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Ernie Stewart said Williams “took a 60 foot fall” and died from blunt force trauma.
Williams was married.
PG&E released the following statement,
Hearts and prayers are with the family of our contractor’s employee.
There was a fatal accident involving an employee of a tree trimming contractor in Humboldt County …
We are looking into the details of the accident, so we can understand what happened.
The safety of our employees, customers and contractors is our highest priority.”
Above are the bare facts of this man’s death. Below is a personal statement from Redheaded Blackbelt.
As often is the case as a reporter, I know more than I can print in a news story. Arlen Williams, the man who died, was described to me as a “beautiful spirit with a heart of gold.” On Christmas Day his wife posted on Facebook a cute cartoon with two utility workers and she noted that all she wanted as a present was for Arlen to come home but she knew his job was to help get power back to people’s homes.Like firefighters, police officers and road workers, utility workers roll out of the house after dark when the wind rips trees from the ground and throws buckets of rain sideways. The workers head into the storm when the rest of us cuddle up in our beds asleep. Firefighters and police officers usually get recognized as doing dangerous work (rightly so) but road workers and utility workers often go unnoticed even though without them our roads would be closed and our homes would be dark.
Over the holiday, Williams worked to clear power lines to restore electricity to those cooking Christmas meals. That holiday he made it home. But tonight on New Year’s Eve, while the rest of us count down 10…9…8…he won’t be there to ring in 2016 with his family.
Tonight, if you raise a glass and say a toast, say one for Williams and for all the utility workers who keep the lights on and the phones ringing.