Business & Economy

Green Mountain Power employee dies during windstorm

Green Mountain Power in Colchester on Monday, December 30, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

A Green Mountain Power employee died last Thursday in Halifax while working to restore power during a windstorm, according to Vermont State Police.

Lucas Donahue, 41, of Colrain, Massachusetts, “was working in the field to serve customers during last week’s windstorm when a tree fell,” Kristin Carlson, a Green Mountain Power spokesperson, told VTDigger. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

A GoFundMe to support Donahue’s family had raised more than $93,000 of a $120,000 goal as of Tuesday evening. Donahue leaves behind a wife and two children, according to his obituary. 

“I’ve never worked with anybody quite like Luke,” said Kyle Tyrrell, a journeyman lineman who apprenticed under Donahue for four years. “He trained me from the very first day, and I owe a lot of my attitude and a lot of what I know at work — I owe it to him.”

Outside of work, Tyrrell described a friend who put his family first, who always smiled — even through difficult times — and was impossible to dislike. 

Carlson said the company is “focused on doing all we can to support Luke’s family and everyone at GMP who is grieving this unimaginable loss.”

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the community for Luke, his family, and his GMP teammates,” she continued. “We are especially grateful for the first responders.” 

Linemen work to install and fix high-energy electrical systems and lines. According to Tyrrell, that work can take a linemen deep underground or high into the air, requiring quick thinking, concentration and fearlessness. 

“One of the last times, I believe, I called him was actually to just say, ‘Man, I really wish there was more people like you, I wish there was more crews like we used to be,’” Tyrrell recalled. “When I used to work with Luke, we would blow anybody out of the water. We would get more work done in a day, but we ended up laughing the whole time. It would always be fun.”

Correction: Due to incorrect information provided by Vermont State Police, an earlier version of this story misspelled Lucas Donahue's name.

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Ethan Weinstein

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