Sheriff identifies utility worker killed by falling tree in Alexander County

A utility worker was killed early Wednesday morning after cutting a tree that had fallen on a power line sprang upward and landed on him, authorities said. 

The incident occurred around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 near the intersection of Dover Church Road and Mountain Ridge Church Road in the Ellendale Community of Alexander County. 

Upon arrival, emergency personnel found Brian Keith Wilmoth, 31, of Wilkes County, dead on scene.

Police said the initial investigation showed that Wilmoth was operating a chainsaw and cutting a tree that had fallen on a power line. As Wilmoth cut the tree in two, the power lines sprang upward, throwing the tree back onto him.

The investigation is continuing.