Skydiver crashes into power line

Skydiver crashes into power line, but escapes unharmed

A Massachusetts skydiver participating in the Brattleboro Winter Carnival crashed into a 7,200-volt power line Saturday, but walked away unharmed.

The skydiver was supposed to land in front of a large crowd in Brattleboro Memorial Park as part of the annual carnival, but shifting winds caused him to crash into the power line on Maple Street, at the park's edge.

"He came down on one side of the lines and his parachute came down on the other side," CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said. "There are four wires on the pole where he landed, and he somehow threaded the needle between all four and escaped unharmed."

CVPS Power Systems Controller Joe Barbagallo shut off the circuit immediately after receiving word of the incident at 1:58 p.m., cutting electrical service to 3,029 customers in Brattleboro, Marlboro, Guilford, Dummerston and Newfane. CVPS line workers John Mulherin, Jeff Robinson and John Gorton, along with Miller, responded to the scene and were assisted by local fire and police officials.

The uninjured skydiver was taken down from the line by members of the Brattleboro Fire Department. CVPS was able to restore power to some of the affected customers at 2:22 p.m., and after CVPS workers repaired damaged equipment, service was restored to all customers at 3:13 p.m.

Barbagallo, a 42-year veteran at CVPS said he could not believe the skydiver escaped uninjured.

"I don't know how he walked away from this," Barbagallo said.

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