Police find man electrocuted below pole after allegedly trying to steal copper power line

Audrey Caro Gomez

A man was critically injured early Monday morning, Nov. 21, after climbing a power pole in the 3700 block of Green River Road.

Sweet Home Police Department received a call at 4:30 a.m. from residents in the area that a suspicious male had been walking around, said Chief Jeff Lynn.

Officers arrived at 4:47 a.m. and found Kevin Bachand, 44, listed as a transient in Sweet Home, had fallen from a pole and was lying on the ground.

“It appeared (Bachand) had been climbing the power pole to steal wire,” Lynn said.

Bachand had significant burns and “traumatic injuries to his extremities.”

He was life-flighted from Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. He was reportedly in critical condition Tuesday morning.

Lynn said the incident is still under investigation.

The initial incident did not cause a power outage. Pacific Power responded to the scene. Two customers were without power for the hour it took Pacific Power to repair the damage, said Tom Gauntt, media spokesman.

“Electricity can be very dangerous,” said Curt Mansfield, vice president of operations for Pacific Power.

“We don’t know all the circumstances around the unfortunate electrical contact near Sweet Home on Green River Road this morning. While law enforcement is leading the investigation on today’s incident, we want to remind everyone that it is never safe for any member of the general public to make contact with power lines or equipment in the air or on the ground.

“Even down lines should be treated as live. We also want to commend the people who reported suspicious activity on Green River Road.

“People who interfere with power lines and equipment place themselves and others in grave danger.”