Regional
3:03 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Las Cruces Tree Trimmer Seriously Injured By Power Line; Same Man Attacked By Bee Swarm In July

A 52-year-old man trimming a pine tree Monday morning was critically injured after coming into contact with an electric power line on O’Donnell Drive.

Craig Benavidez, with Axeman Professional Arborist, received electrical shock from a 13,000 volt power line while trimming the upper branches of a pine tree at 2015 O’Donnell Dr. After electrical power was cut, a Technical Rescue Team from the Las Cruces Fire Department was able to safely lower Benavidez to the ground.

Benavidez was in critical condition when he was airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso.

Benavidez had scaled the pine tree and was secured by a climbing harness which most likely prevented further injury. Benavidez was approximately 30 feet above ground when the incident occurred at around 11 a.m. Monday.

On July 18, 2012, while trimming a large cottonwood tree in downtown Las Cruces, Benavidez was stung numerous times by what were later determined to be Africanized bees. In that incident Benavidez was strapped in a climbing harness when the bees attacked and had to be lowered to the ground by coworkers.