St. Cloud Tree Trimmer Dies from Electrocution

Updated: 06/28/2014 5:32 PM
Created: 06/28/2014 1:13 PM
By: Megan Stewart

A 21-year-old man died after he was electrocuted while trimming trees in Minnetonka on Wednesday.

He has been identified as Travis Sutherland of St. Cloud, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

The incident occurred early Wednesday afternoon around 1 p.m. on the 19000 block of Townline Road in Minnetonka. Fire Chief John Vance said when crews arrived on the scene they faced a risky rescue attempt.

"Apparently, during the course of trimming the tree a branch came in contact with an electrical line," he said.

Vance says crews had to contend with Sutherland's harness, ropes, a tree that had already been weakened by the crew's earlier work, and the power lines just a few feet away, adding that the electric lines were still live.

Homeowner Scott Truax hired the crew to trim trees on his property. He says he wanted the tree involved in the accident removed because "it was too close to the power lines."

Once crews lowered Sutherland to the ground, they started CPR on him. He apparently had no pulse. Sutherland was then rushed to the hospital and died around 3 p.m., according to the medical examiner.

The Minnetonka police are investigating.

Photo: KSTP/File

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