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By Christa Jennings
Senior staff writer
Two 19-year-old men were fatally electrocuted while working to restore power in western Jefferson County Tuesday morning following Hurricane Ida.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as Eli Nathaniel Babb of Kellyton and Layton River Ellison of Alexandria. Both young men worked with Pike Electric and were contracted to help Alabama Power with storm restoration in Adger.
According to reports, the accident happened at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 31, in the 7300 block of Johns Road while the two were working on lines in Adger, doing power line distribution work. They were reportedly electrocuted when they came in contact with an energized power line, and both were pronounced dead on the scene at 11:20 a.m.
Rescue crews from Adger, Hueytown, Concord, Antioch, and Birmingport assisted at the scene of the accident.
Although from Kellyton, Babb attended Chilton County High School and graduated from there last year. Principal Ron Pinson released the following statement following the tragic news:
“Eli was an involved member of the Class of 2020, and his classmates are understandably distraught to lose someone so special at such a young age. We join them in their grief and extent our heartfelt sympathies to the Class of 2020 graduates, as well.”
Ellison, who was born in Anniston, was a 2020 graduate of Alexandria High School.
Alabama Power released the following statement: “We have been made aware of a tragic accident involving Pike Electric employees supporting Alabama Power in storm restoration. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pike Electric family during this difficult time.”
Pike Electric Senior Vice President James Banner called it a “horrible day” and said that their prayers are with each of the families suffering from these losses.
“We’re continuing to investigate a tragic accident that occurred in Alabama earlier today that has evidently taken the lives of two of our workers,” Banner said in a statement Tuesday. “Our prayers are with each of their families.”
As of press time, the accident remained under investigation, with Pike Electric having stated that it will continue to investigate the incident. However, it was reported that an official cause of death may take four to six weeks to determine.