DTE says worker who died trying to restore power was a hero

About a thousand crews are out working to restore power to some 50,000 customers Tuesday after a recent round of storms.

They were also working to restore power to a family here on Braile Street and sadly one of those workers lost his life in the process, stunning co-workers and people living here.

DTE says tonight their 10,000 employees are grieving and they are sending their love and support to the worker’s family and loved ones. 

"His co-workers were pulling up and they were very devastated, one of them just collapsed," said Loveddica Hines.

Hines lives next door to the house where a DTE employee died restoring power. It happened on Braile Street on Detroit’s west side around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The fire department says the worker fell from a ladder onto a live wire.

"When the first responding company arrived here it was Engine 53," said Detroit Fire Chief James Davis. "They found a gentleman on the ground holding a wire that worked for DTE. We didn’t know he was deceased when he was here, they worked on him and transported him to the closest hospital."

Neighbors say the house in question was the only one on the block without electricity after the weekend storms. A family with children and a baby live there.

DTE released a statement saying in part:

"A line worker who was working to restore power in Detroit came in contact with a live wire and was fatally wounded. He was dedicated to doing his best to serve our customers, and to us, he was a hero."

"One of the neighbors, she witnessed it, and she was very distraught," Hines said. "Because, I believe, she actually saw it happen."

"She had called out and said, you know, 'It’s going to rain, you need to stop,' and he was saying he was going to be okay and that’s when everything happened," said another neighbor.

DTE is working to restore power to thousands of customers throughout southeast Michigan, many still reeling from the torrential rainfall over the weekend-that flooded basements, freeways, and streets.

The tragedy on Braile reminding everyone just how dangerous their work can be.

"I just want to give my condolences to his family," Hines said. "This is really unfortunate and I imagine for his co-workers, these DTE workers, that’s probably one of their biggest fears when they go to work every day."

A DTE worker said that what happened in the accident was extremely rare, but tragic nonetheless.