Death Investigation

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations
Investigative Operations Bureau
- Robbery & Homicide Unit

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Robert Tanner (Victim- Deceased)
DOB: 12/12/1958
Address: 444 Athens Street West, Tarpon Springs

Charles Walker (Co-worker- Uninjured)
DOB: 03/25/1967
Address: 10694 Shalimar Street, New Port Richey

What:
Detectives assigned to the Robbery & Homicide Unit are investigating a work-related accident that killed a man working on a billboard in Palm Harbor.

When:
The incident occurred at about 11:04 a.m. on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

The victim was pronounced deceased at about 11:49 a.m. on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

Where:
The incident occurred in front of the business Glory Days Grill, located at 34200 US Highway 19 North, in Palm Harbor.  

Why/How:
Detectives assigned to the Robbery & Homicide Unit are investigating a work-related accident that killed a man working on a billboard in Palm Harbor.

At about 11:04 a.m., on August, 9, 2017, deputies were called to the Glory Days Grill, located at 34200 US Highway 19 North, in Palm Harbor, for an unresponsive man who was working on a billboard sign in front of the business.

According to detectives, the victim 58-year-old Robert Tanner and his co-worker 50-year-old Charles Walker, both employed by Accent Neon and Sign Company, were working on the electric billboard in front of the business.

Tanner was utilizing a hydraulic bucket truck to work on the sign while Walker stayed on the ground. Tanner was inside the bucket on the hydraulic boom approximately 20 feet above the ground when Tanner leaned over the boom control panel switches, attempting to reach an electrical access panel on the sign.

Detectives say when Tanner leaned on the boom control panel switch, his body inadvertently activated the switch causing the boom to rise upward. The upward motion of the boom pinned Tanner’s torso between bucket and the metal overhang of the sign. Tanner was unable to release the switch due to the hydraulic pressure.

Walker witnessed Tanner in distress and tried to reverse the boom by accessing a control panel on the side of the truck. Walker was unable to reverse the hydraulic pressure or override the control panel.

Paramedics from Palm Harbor Fire Rescue responded to the scene and spent more than 20 minutes working to free Tanner from the bucket.

Tanner was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Detectives say the death appears accidental in nature.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified of the death investigation. 

Next of kin has been notified.

The investigation continues.

 

Posted by Spencer Gross Wednesday, August 9, 2017 3:50:00 PM Categories: Death Investigations

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