Two employees of Lee Electrical, based in Aberdeen, were killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday night while they were repairing utility lines damaged by Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle.

The crash occurred on State Road 77 near Chipley, which is north of Panama City, according to a highway patrol news release. The pickup truck driven by John Goedtke, 37, of the Tampa area, was heading north when it veered onto the road’s shoulder, striking the workers, Sgt. R.C. Livingston wrote in the incident report.

Goedtke then fled the scene but was later tracked down and detained by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He was later arrested by troopers.

Killed in the crash were George Cesil, 52, of Colerain and Ryan Barrett, 22, of Roanoke Rapids.  A third lineman killed in the crash has been identified as James Ussery of Chipley, Florida.

Lee Electrical Construction wrote on their Facebook page, “George had worked with us for approximately 6 years serving as an exceptional Foreman for most of that time. Ryan had worked with us for 5 months but was quickly showing promise in our industry. Our deepest sympathies go out to their family and friends. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this extremely difficult time.”

Goedtke, who received minor injuries in the crash, is charged with DUI manslaughter, felony vehicular homicide and leaving the scene. Troopers said additional charges are pending.

This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.

Copyright 2018, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Photos from Cesil and Barrett’s Facebook pages.




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