Hospital doctors to release tree-trimmer shocked by powerline

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POSTED: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 4:18pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 5:21pm

UPDATE as of Tuesday, Jan. 8

A co-worker of Craig Benavidez who was shocked by 13k volts is out of critical condition and talking. He said Benavidez expected to be released Wednesday. 

 UPDATE:

His coworkers knew in an instant what had happened.

"I knew right away he got electrocuted," said coworker Ruben Gutierrez. "I knew right away by the way his body just went limp you know? Only thing that held him is that he was tied in".

Monday, Craig Benavidez, 52, wore a harness while trimming an evergreen tree in Las Cruces.
He's known for taking the tough jobs. Most days it goes well.

"I thought he was dead when he was up there," Gutierrez said.

But today something happened.

"It took El Paso Electric a few minutes to shut the power off to that power line before firefighters could lower him," said Dan Trujillo of the Las Cruces Police Department.

Benavidez somehow fell and hit a power line that rushed more than 13 thousand volts of electricity through his body.

"It was just a split second it happened because it dropped we looked up and he was dangling," Gutierrez said. "So we started yelling for his name to see if he can hang on because he went limp".

This is the second time in six months Benavidez has fought for his life after a work related accident.

In July, firefighters found him unconscious after he was repeatedly stung and attacked by rare africanized bees.

That day he was cutting down a large cottonwood tree near downtown Las Cruces.

"This kinda sends a message that if your working anywhere near a power lines first of all avoid it if at all possible," Trujillo said.
 

Las Cruces man, Craig Benavidez, 52, was in critical condition Monday after emergency officials reported he was shocked by 13k volts while trimming a tree. Benavidez was taken to El Paso to be treated at University Medical Center. 

Officials confirmed he was the same man that was stung by Africanized bees last summer. 

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