THOMSON, GA (WFXG) - A man was killed Friday afternoon while working on a sign at a McDuffie County gas station, according to Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins. It happened at Love’s Travel Stop on Washington Rd. An investigation into how it happened is underway.
According to the coroner, the victim is a D&G Outdoor Lighting and Signs employee. He reportedly tried to cut a wire and was electrocuted when he came into contact with metal inside the sign. Fire rescue teams responded with a ladder truck and recovered the man.
“It was just a slow process to put it all together so we could remove him,” Collins explained. Due to the safety concern, emergency crews ensured the power at the gas station was shut off before they retrieved the man’s body. The body was taken to the University Hospital morgue in Thomson. An autopsy will be performed at the GBI crime lab in Atlanta.
Family members identified the man as Ernest Ray IV from Villa Rica, Georgia. They told FOX 54 that Ernest was a “hard working, love to make everyone laugh, do anything for his friends and family kind man who loved his family dearly.”
He is survived by his 3 sons, mother, 4 siblings, 5 nieces, 3 three nephews and girlfriend Samantha Weiss.
The family also says, “Words cannot describe how much he will be missed or the void he has placed in our hearts just by leaving this Earth. Rest In Paradise Ernest Ray IV.”