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Two workers electrocuted near Ray Nixon Power Plant identified

May 15, 2018 Updated: May 15, 2018 at 6:26 pm
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Two men were electrocuted and died last Thursday near the gate of the Ray Nixon Power plant. Earlier this week, family members held a memorial and left flowers, crosses and other memorabilia at the scene. Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

The two men electrocuted Thursday near the Ray Nixon Power Plant were Benjamin Hey and Joseph Sampedro, the El Paso County Coroner's Office announced Tuesday.

Hey, 25, and Sampedro, 24, were taking soil samples for an expansion of the plant's main entrance gate when their truck hit a 12,250-volt overhead power line, said Arem Benyamin, general manager of Colorado Springs Utilities' Energy Supply Division.

Hey and Sampedro died at the scene. A third worker, who was farther from the truck, was uninjured.

Sampedro's family members erected a memorial under the power line. On Mother's Day, his seven siblings, several nieces and nephews and other relatives gathered near the site to grieve, Gazette news partner KKTV reported.

"This is so fresh. So brutal," said Sampredro's stepfather, Jack Lambiotte. "We all miss him so horribly already. We can't imagine going forward, but we do feel that today brings us together."

Sampedro was a "true self-made man" who owned his own drilling business, said a GoFundMe for his funeral expenses.

"Joe and his crew were trained, experienced and always fully committed to safety on the job when this horrible accident happened. He and his workers were doing what they loved, working in the Colorado sunshine and helping build the land they so loved," the page says.

Utilities would not identify the company operating the truck, but its boom read "Joe's Drilling, LLC." The truck also was registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation as Joe's Drilling, LLC.

Hey lived with Sampedro and occasionally helped with the business, his mother, Elizabeth, told KKTV. He loved animals and hoped to someday work as a veterinarian technician, she said.

His death was a severe blow, she said. "I go from crying hysterically to completely numb ... it just doesn't seem real."

She said she has yet to visit the memorial built by the Sampedro family but shares their pain."I know exactly what they're going through," she said.

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