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Thonotosassa Man Accused of DUI Manslaughter in Death of Two Linemen

John Goedtke | Florida Highway Patrol | Arrests

A third lineman who was critically injured in the crash, died today (Oct. 25). They had been working to restore power lost in Hurricane Michael.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – A Thonotosassa man was charged with DUI manslaughter after a crash Wednesday (Oct. 24) in the Panhandle that killed three power company linemen, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

George Cecil, 52, of Cole Rain, NC, died at the scene. James Ussery, 60, of Chipley, died at Northwest Florida Hospital where he was taken after the crash. Ryan Barrett, 22, of Roanoke Rapids, NC, was taken to Southeastern Medical Center in critical condition. He died today (Oct. 25). The three were power company employees who were working to restore power lost in Hurricane Michael, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Troopers said Mr. Cecil and Mr. Barrett were employed by Lee Electric Construciton. Mr. Ussery was employed by West Florida Electric Cooperative.

John Roland Goedtke, 37, of Thonotosasa, was charged with felony DUI manslaughter, felony vehicular manslaughter and felony leaving the scene. Additional charges are pending. Results of alcohol testing are also pending.

FHP troopers said the crash happened about 6:50 p.m. on State Road 77 and Talton Road in Washington County.

Goedtke was driving a 1997 Ford F150 with a U-Haul trailer north on SR 77. Troopers said he began to travel northeast and drove onto the grass shoulder of the road where the three men were working on power poles.

The pickup hit the three men and continued traveling. The truck came to a final rest in the eastern ditch facing north. The U-Haul trailer came to a final rest facing northwest behind the truck.

Geodtke fled on foot and was caught by Washington County sheriff’s deputies. Troopers then arrested Goedtke.

Photo of John Roland Goedtke courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Florida Highway Patrol | FHP | Washington County Sheriff | Crime | DUI Manslaughter | Arrests | Tampabay News

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Thonotosassa Man Accused of DUI Manslaughter in Death of Two Linemen
Article Name
Thonotosassa Man Accused of DUI Manslaughter in Death of Two Linemen
Description
A third lineman was critically injured in the crash, which took place in the Panhandle where they were working to restore power lost in Hurricane Michael.
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TB Reporter
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