Tree service worker dies of electrocution in Mount Morris

UPDATE 8/20/19 – 84-year-old Ken Murtha as been charged with second-degree manslaughter by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in connection with Cecil Beardslee-West’s death.

Murtha owned Ken’s Tree Service for more than 50 years and recently retired. His attorney entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

Livingston County Sheriff Tom Dougherty said that deputies spent three months investigating the incident. They allege that Beardslee-West was holding onto a metal chain attached to a crane that was moving logs.

Murtha was operating the crane, according to deputies. Beardslee-West, who had only worked for the business for a week, was put in danger because Murtha did not follow proper safety protocols, according to the sheriff.

They say Murtha did not have a license to operate the crane and had previously failed the practical portion of the exam.

Murtha is expected back in Mount Morris Town Court next week.

Mt Morris, NY – 21-year-old Cecil Beardslee-West was electrocuted while moving logs at Mount Morris home.

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty announced on Wednesday that Beardslee-West was working for a tree removal service at the residence. He was holding onto a chain attached to a crane that was moving logs from the back yard to the front yard near the edge of the roadway.

As Beardslee-West held onto the metal chain, it made contact with an overhead power line, electrocuting him on the spot. Dougherty said emergency responders were unable to resuscitate him. 

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