New Castle News

July 2, 2013

Athlete nearly killed in electrical accident

Melissa Klaric
CNHI

SHARPSVILLE — A Sharpsville High School star athlete electrocuted while he was working on a roof Saturday is in critical condition at a Pittsburgh hospital.

Tyler Luchey, 18, apparently hit a high-tension electrical wire with a roofing tool at about 4:30 p.m. while he was working for his father’s business, Affordable Builders, on the roof of a house at 615 W. Main Street, Sharpsville.

The force of the electricity threw him 30 feet and slammed him onto the sidewalk below.

His father, Ed Luchey, said Sunday that Tyler is not in good shape.

“He has blood in his brain. They opened up his brain,” the elder Luchey said. “His neck was fractured, his ankles and heels were broken, and he has 40 percent burns over his body,” he said.

Tyler is in the trauma and burn unit at UPMC Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh.

His father said that Tyler is better than he was Saturday before undergoing two surgeries.

“He can hear the doctors, he’s listening to them and responding,” he said. “This morning he gave two thumbs-up to the doctors.”

Two men working on the roof with Tyler did not see what happened, Luchey said. They realized he was not on the roof then saw him lying on the sidewalk, he said.

Luchey speculated that recent storms might have exposed part of the wire, which ran straight from a utility pole.

Tyler graduated from Sharpsville High School June 7. He was a wide receiver for the Blue Devils football team and a starter for the basketball team.

Tyler was one of two basketball players from Sharpsville to be named to the senior all-star team this year, which features the top basketball players from Mercer and Lawrence counties.

The people from Sharpsville have turned their thoughts and prayers to Tyler.

“We’ve gotten a lot of support from people in Sharpsville,” Luchey said.

“He’s a popular kid, well-liked and very determined,” Mark Ferrara, Sharpsville schools superintendent said. “His youth and determination will hopefully pull him through this. We need to keep him and his family in our prayers and thoughts.”

“He’s a very nice kid,” Kirk Scurpa, Sharpsville High School principal said. “I understand a lot of his friends have visited him.”

Tyler’s dad is confident his son will make it through.

“It’s going to be a long recovery, but he’s survived this horrible accident so far, he’s going to pull through,” Luchey said.