Coroner identifies man who was decapitated while working on Verizon cellphone tower

jmadden@herald-leader.comJuly 2, 2014 

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The Harrison County coroner has identified a man who was decapitated Wednesday while working on a cellphone tower on Waits Road.

Joel Metz, 28, of Indianapolis was killed Wednesday by an antenna that fell while a construction crew was replacing it, Harrison County Coroner Tom Ware said. One of Metz's arms also was cut off.

Metz was working with Fortune Wireless when the accident happened, Ware said.

The Harrison County Sheriff's Office was investigating whether Metz was decapitated by the antenna or a broken strap.

Police were called about 2:20 p.m. Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton said he spoke to a foreman and was told that four men had been working to replace the tower's antennas, which each weigh 1,800 pounds. WKYT, the Herald-Leader's TV news partner, reported that two of the men were working atop the tower and two were working on the ground when the accident happened.

One antenna had been removed and was being replaced when it fell just two feet away from the tower, Hampton said. Metz was still in his safety harness when he was killed. The Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue Team was called about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. Ware said it took several hours for the rescue team to bring Metz down.

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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