Third lineman dies following hit-and-run crash, suspect in custody
October 25, 2018
UPDATE: The Florida Highway Patrol has confirmed a third lineman, Ryan Barrett, 22, of North Carolina, has died from his injuries. Troopers say he and two other linemen were hit by a driver they believe was under the influence Wednesday night.
October 24, 2018
CHIPLEY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Authorities have identified three linemen who were struck in a hit-and-run crash on State Road 77 in Chipley Wednesday night. Two of the men have died.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office says around 6:42 p.m. Wednesday, three lineman, one from West Florida Electric and two from Lee Electric out of North Carolina, were working to restore power lost during Hurricane Michael near Talton Drive on State Road 77.
Officials say 37-year-old John Roland Goedtke of Tampa, Florida, was driving northbound on SR77 when he left the roadway, striking the three linemen.
reports that the linemen who were killed are George Cecil, 52, of Cole Rain, North Carolina, and James Ussery, 60, of Chipley.
A third lineman, Ryan Barrett, 22, of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, is in critical condition.
According to deputies, Goedtke fled the scene on foot and was spotted by a Chipley Police Officer five to six miles away from the scene.
Goedtke was arrested and transported to the Washington County Jail.
WCSO says Goedtke is charged with felony DUI manslaugther, felony vehicular homicide, and felony leaving the scene. FHP said additional charges are pending.