Tech rescue team saves tree trimmer shocked by power line

The N.M. tree trimmer has second freak accident in 6 months


The Associated Press

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A veteran New Mexico tree trimmer is hospitalized in critical condition after being shocked by a power line — six months after he was hospitalized because of a bee attack.

Authorities say 52-year-old Craig Benavidez of Las Cruces was trimming a pine tree Monday when he was shocked by a 13,000-volt power line.

Benavidez had scaled the tree and was secured by a climbing harness about 30 feet above the ground.

A technical rescue team with the city's fire department was able to lower him from the tree after the power was cut. Benavidez was taken to an El Paso, Texas, hospital.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Benavidez has been an arborist for more than 30 years.

In July, he was trimming a cottonwood tree in downtown Las Cruces when he was stung numerous times by what were later determined to be Africanized bees.

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