THURMOND, W.Va. -- Fayette County has identified a man who died Wednesday when he used a gun to shoot down an active power line and picked it up, police said.
Deputies found the man, 22-year-old Dalton Newhouse of Oak Hill, along Berry Mountain Road in Thurmond at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said.
Newhouse and an accomplice used a rifle to shoot down a high-tension power transmission line, police said. They planned to strip the line of its copper wiring and sell it.
When Newhouse picked up the wire, Kessler said, it killed him instantly, according to a news release. His accomplice was identified as Charles Raymond Norris, 22, of Oak Hill, who was arrested Wednesday.
Norris was charged with attempting to commit a felony, conspiracy to commit a felony and disruption of a public utility.
He was arraigned in Fayette County Magistrate Court, where he posted his own bail.Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye said about 50 customers were without electricity for three hours. He called copper thefts a "tragedy" and urged would-be thieves to think twice.
"Always assume a power line is energized," Moye said. "In copper theft, they are not only ignoring that advice but they are touching and cutting a wire intentionally."