Fund created for lineman killed in accident

Franklin County High School 2013 graduate Lachlan Brain, left, takes a moment to pose with Andrew Warner, an instructor at the Southeast Lineman Training Center, during the Georgia school's 2016 class "rodeo" and graduation ceremony.

Southern Middle Tennesseans have joined together, giving open-heartedly to help Texas' Hurricane Harvey relief effort, but Winchester resident Lachlan Brain gave the most of anyone.

Brain, who had become an electrical lineman in 2016, died Tuesday near Bloomington while working for T&D Solutions on a line, attempting to restore power to the area.

He was pronounced dead about 11:25 a.m. at Citizens Medical Center. He was 22 years old.

Brain's death came as a shock to those who knew him in Franklin County and to those who didn't in Texas but were greatly appreciative of the effort being made by Tennessee volunteers to help get their lives back to normal after facing the worst natural disaster most in that area had ever seen.

Texans, Tennesseans, fellow linemen and others shared their condolences on social media about how significant the loss is.

Victoria resident Cynthia Martinez and about 1,600 others extended their condolences.

"We appreciate all the hard work these linemen have done for our city," she said. "We, the people of the city of Victoria, are very saddened by the news of this young man.

"No words will ever express the gratitude this town has not only for this young man's help but for all of the linemen who have volunteered in helping our town restore power to so many without. Our prayers are with him, his family and his hometown. We will never forget his efforts have done while he was here. May you find peace."

Immediate family member Philip J. Lorenz III, Brain's stepgrandfather, said the loss is difficult to bear.

"It's a tragic feeling that will never leave," he said. "The good points were his passion for life, and that came back and hit him."

Lorenz said Brain found his true calling in electrical line work.

"This was his passion," Lorenz said. "He loved that kind of work. He found out where he fit in. He liked a risky environment, and that drew him to this."

Lorenz, who is a Herald Chronicle staff writer, said the turn of events was difficult to believe.

He said his focus as a journalist was on how Brain and others were joining in to aid Texans trying to overcome Hurricane Harvey's aftermath, but that quickly changed.

"I never dreamed there would be a story where he died," Lorenz said.

Randy Williams, senior patrol deputy for the Victoria County Sheriff's Office, said the incident occurred at nearby Crescent Valley, between Bloomington and Victoria, about 11 a.m. Tuesday when Brain, as part of a Hurricane Harvey relief crew, was working on a line in a bucket truck opposite another lineman in a second bucket truck.

Williams said Brain apparently was reaching across while working on the line and came into contact with a live wire.

"It all happened so fast," Williams said, adding that line personnel lowered the bucket and gave CPR to Brain on the ground.

Williams said electric shock treatments were attempted by emergency medical service personnel, but they were not able to revive Brain. He was then taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Michael Miller, a lineman, expressed his sympathy by starting with: "From one lineman to another."

"May you rest in peace and shine down on your family and all of us when skies are gray," he said. "My son is away at (Northwest Lineman College) in Texas right now. This is not a job to take for granted. Safety standards need to be improved. Every man deserves to go home."

Donna Duke Strickland also extended her condolences on social media.

"So sad we don't think sometimes how quickly lives are lost," she said. "This young man went to help people. And I pray comfort for his family. As a former retired electric co-op worker, anytime a storm is going on, I think of all the linemen and especially my lineman that I worked with 31 years."

Brittany Norman echoed Strickland's sentiments.

"This breaks my heart so much," she said. "I'm sorry to his family for their loss. These men have worked so hard to fix the affected areas. This shouldn't have happened, and I am so sorry for that.

"To his family, from Texas, we're praying for you. This is such a dangerous job, and only the bravest can do it, and that's what he was. We will keep our front porch light on for him."

Blake Moore followed suit.

"I love you, brother," he said. "You will always be like a family to me. You are already missed and will always be in our hearts. You have always been there when I needed a friend. I'll see you tomorrow on the other side bro. We couldn't have a better person looking down on us! Rest easy, brother."

Mattie Jones was also among the almost 1,600 airing their sentiments about the loss.

"I am so sorry to this young man's family," she said. "My heart breaks for you. The job of a lineman is one of the most dangerous jobs there is.

"Linemen are a very unique group of men. They have a brotherhood in caring, protecting and watching out for each other. I have been a lineman's wife for 34 years and understand the stress the job brings. Again, I am so sorry for the loss of such a beautiful young man."

Gabe Angelica Ruiz extended his goodbyes to a fellow lineman.

"To my line brother I never met. Please God put your hand on this young brother and let him know that linemen past and present are with him and will never let his name be forgotten.

"Storm chasing is a great thrill and a great experience but full of danger. His heart was where he wanted to be, doing what he loved to do. My condolences to his family and friends. Lineman Strong."

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