Area man who helped with hurricane relief still in hospital

By JIM MEYER – Staff writer

A West Penn Power lineman who works out of Clarion remains in the intensive care unit of a Florida hospital after a right arm amputation resulting from an electrical accident during hurricane reconstruction efforts in Florida.

Tracy Slaugenhaupt, 53, of Summerville in Jefferson County, was working in Englewood, Florida, on Sept. 21 when he was shocked by a live wire, according to published reports.

A Facebook post by Tracy Slaugenhaupt’s son, Devin, says Tracy Slaugenhaupt’s right arm was surgically amputated Tuesday.

Todd Meyers, a spokesman for West Penn, described the incident as a stark reminder of how dangerous electrical work can be.

“We are all pulling for him and wish him the very best,” Meyers said Friday. “That’s why there’s such an emphasis on safety. We want all our linemen to come home in the same condition they left in that morning.”

Slaugenhaupt suffered severe burns on most of his upper body and was airlifted to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, according to the published reports.

“The electric went in through his right arm and across his chest. It exited through the left shoulder,” his wife, Darlene, wrote in a Facebook update to friends.

“He has extensive full burns on his arms, chest, back, shoulders. He has lost a lot of muscle and tissue already. He is in critical condition. He has burns on 36 percent of his body.”

A spokesperson for Blake Medical Center told the newspaper on Friday that neither Tracy Slaugenhaupt nor the family are accepting any phone calls or visitors to the hospital.

Anyone interested in updates or offering encouragement can do so through the Facebook page “Prayers for Tracy.”