Florida Fisherman Dies in Bizzare Electrocution

PHOTO: Jason L. Reeves, who has died while fishing, is seen in this mugshot dated Aug. 25, 2010.Courtesy Hernando County Jail
Jason L. Reeves, who has died while fishing, is seen in this mugshot dated Aug. 25, 2010.

A Brooksville, Fla., fisherman died in a bizarre electrocution accident on the banks of a lake near his home.

Jason L. Reeves, 32, was on a routine fishing trip at a lake in Clover Leaf Farms, near his residence Thursday but didn't return, police said.

His fiancée, Dawn Miele, 53, went to the lake to look for him that day but found no trace of him. She went back the following day.

Joe Dahm, who was sitting with his family in a home near the scene, said Miele came back from the lake frantic, pounding her fists on the grass. "My husband is dead, he's drowned, he's dead," Dahm recalled the woman as saying.

Dahm said he ran to the hysterical woman to see what was going on. She kept pointing to the lake, where Reeves' body had been floating.

Dahm said they had seen Reeves at the lake the previous day. When he and his wife returned that afternoon, Reeves was gone but his fishing lure was tangled on a 12–15 foot high power line.

Chief George Turner of the Brooksville Police says their investigation revealed Reeves had been fishing on the bank while it was raining. It appeared he was casting a metal fishing lure and was using a braided fishing line. When Reeves cast his lure, it got caught on a 7,200-volt overhead power line that hangs a few feet from the bank. The victim was electrocuted, falling down the bank and into the lake.

Turner said the Medical Examiner indicated no foul play in the death and that the initial determination was electrocution.

"I've never seen or heard of this happening -- this is a freak accident," said Chief Turner. He said the scene seemed as though it were out of an episode of Spike TV's "1000 Ways To Die."

Police say Florida Power and Light technicians examined the area and determined that the braided fishing line had more strength than a regular fishing line, so there was sufficient material to conduct electricity.

Dahm, who says he worked as a linesman and supervisor at a power company in Pennsylvania for 40 years, said he was skeptical Reeves was electrocuted.

"I didn't think a fishing line could have held enough current to kill someone; I even looked it up online and there's nothing that says a fishing line can do this," said Dahm. "Police say there was metal in it but I don't know."

Turner said, "To my knowledge there was nothing abnormal about that power pole. Some residents did say they've had their fishing poles caught on the lines but those people happen to be lucky I guess."

Rob Sumner, Communication Specialist for Progress Electric, told ABC News the incident is still under investigation.

"We've been conducting on-site investigations but what people should always remember is be aware of your surroundings especially around any type of power pole," said Sumner. "Whether you're fishing or out on the street or in a car, be careful, they're called a power pole for a reason."