Bicyclist found dead among live wires in North Park

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — A bicyclist died after police believe he hit downed power lines in North Park on Tuesday night.

He has been identified as Robert Anderson, 63, of Wexford.

Emergency crews were called to a trail at Pearce Mill Road and North Ridge Drive at 8:22 p.m. where they found a man down among live wires.

Duquesne Light crews were called to the scene, as first responders could not get to the bicyclist while the power was on.

Power was cut to the area at 10:30 p.m., and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Allegheny County police, a call for downed wires came in at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. Police, fire, EMS and park maintenance crews were called to the area.

Duquesne Light was contacted at 8:51 a.m., police say.

County officials closed the trail and placed caution tape near the wires and at the main entrance of the trail.

Duquesne Light sent Channel 11 the following statement Wednesday morning:

“At approximately 8:30 p.m., Duquesne Light Company (DLC) was notified that a bicyclist came into contact with live electrical wires on a bike trail near Pearce Mill Road in North Park. The individual was electrocuted and has passed away. We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.

“We are working closely with local emergency responders and park officials to investigate the incident.

“The lines in that area have been deenergized and cut away. Storm restoration continues throughout the region following Monday evening’s storms and the ongoing heat wave. Please avoid all downed wires and call 9-1-1 immediately.”

Duquesne Light sent a follow-up statement Wednesday evening:

“On Tuesday, July 18, Duquesne Light Company (DLC) learned that a bicyclist came into contact with live electrical wires on a remote bike trail near Pearce Mill Road in North Park, which tragically led to this person’s death. We are deeply saddened by this awful accident and are sending our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones.

“We can confirm that on Tuesday morning, DLC received a report of a downed wire in North Park. We continue to investigate the timeline of events preceding and following this incident. DLC was later notified that a cyclist came into contact with live electrical wires in North Park. We immediately responded to the scene, confirmed that it was secure and deenergized the lines shortly after.

“Following severe storms and ongoing intense heat, which caused more than 90,000 customers to lose power on Monday, DLC has received hundreds of downed wire reports across our service territory. Safety hazards are our first priority when it comes to response and restoration, and we prioritize each of these reports according to risks to public safety, among other factors.

“As we continue to safely restore power across the region, we strongly remind our customers and the public to avoid downed power lines and immediately call 9-1-1 if any are spotted. It’s also critical to give ample space to lineworkers as they work and avoid walking under or around dead or dying trees as well as trees with dangling limbs.”

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