, Muskogee, OK

January 20, 2013

Man shocked by transformer

Russell Barlow in hospital after allegedly climbing utility pole

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A man who was shocked by an electric transformer Saturday morning remains hospitalized at Hillcrest Burn Center in Tulsa.

A condition was not available for Russell Barlow, 40, on Saturday.

Barlow allegedly climbed a utility pole in the Tater Hill area of Porum about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

“I was told he went up there and chopped the pole down with the transformer on it, and apparently it was still hooked to a hot line,” Poole said. “I guess when it fell maybe a wire hit him and shocked him.”

Poole said Barlow may have intended to steal the copper in the transformer.

A man who lived nearby told Poole that Barlow was visiting him earlier in the morning.

“He said his electricity went out so he fixed himself a cup of coffee and sat down to wait it out,” Poole said.

Then the man heard shouting outside.

“He said he went down there to check on his friend and he found Barlow laying on the ground, maybe with two broken legs,” Poole said.

Barlow’s friend went back home for help. They put a mattress in the back of a pickup, put Barlow on the mattress, and drove to a nearby Porum police officer’s home, he said.

The officer called for an ambulance and Barlow was then flown to the burn center, Poole said.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or