Emergency Dial 911, Portsmouth Police Department, 3 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Tel: (603) 427-1500

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Reference: Investigation of Electrocution / Construction Accident

On Friday, June 16, 2006 @ 8:05 a.m., the Portsmouth Emergency Dispatch Center received a call of an apparent accidental electrocution at the American Legion, Frank E. Booma Post #6, 96 Islington Street, Portsmouth. Portsmouth Police and Portsmouth Fire/Rescue immediately responded to the scene.

Personnel from the Portsmouth Fire Department verified that the scene was safe, evaluated the patient and determined that his injuries were fatal. The deceased was identified as a 33 year-old William O. Woodward, Jr. of North Berwick, Maine, who was working as part of a roofing crew, working on the front roof of the American Legion building. The victim was working in and operating a lift, attaching a tarp to the front of the building, when he came into contact with high voltage transmission lines causing his injury and death.

The Portsmouth Fire Department remained on scene and assisted Portsmouth Police Patrol Officers and Portsmouth Police Detectives with the investigation. The Portsmouth Department of Public Works a deputy from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with securing the scene. Investigators from the State of New Hampshire Medical Examiners Office, the State of New Hampshire Fire Marshals Office, the State of new Hampshire Electrical Inspector, the US Department of labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration and Public Service of New Hampshire also responded and investigated.

The investigation in on going, pending an autopsy, by the State of New Hampshire Medical Examiners Office. Preliminary findings are that the death was accidental. A second person, a 38 year-old male co-worker Leslie Bodwell, was transported by ambulance to Portsmouth Regional hospital for evaluation after he suffered possible minor injuries during rescue attempts. This co-worker was treated and released.


 Emergency Dial 911, Portsmouth Police Department, 3 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Tel: (603) 427-1500