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2 killed in copter mishap

August 7, 2013

Unidentified workers hang transmission lines near Vealmoor earlier this year. Tragically, two workers were killed Monday in Martin County when a cord tethering them to a helicopter snapped. (File photo)

MARTIN COUNTY — Two men fell to their deaths Monday morning at a location in northern Martin County — approximately halfway between Big Spring and Lamesa — while working on power lines, tethered to a helicopter, according to local law enforcement officials.

David Edward Oliveira, 26, of Turlock, Calif., and Christopher Geoffrey Breed, 27, of Moscow, Idaho, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, near County Roads 4501 and 4200, according to officials with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

The two men were working on new electric transmission lines for Wind Energy Transmission Texas (WETT). The accident occurred at approximately 9 a.m. when the cable the men were suspended from came in contact with nearby power lines.

According to officials with the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopter was able to land safely following the accident, although the pilot was transported to Martin County Hospital with an unknown medical condition.

Martin County Sheriff John Woodward said, the power lines the pair were inspecting and performing maintenance work on are approximately 230 feet from the ground.

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