Homerville family trying to increase safety for cell tower climb - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Homerville family trying to increase safety for cell tower climbers

Zach Roberts Zach Roberts
Michelle Roberts (left), Linda McCardle (right) Michelle Roberts (left), Linda McCardle (right)

Zach Roberts died last year after falling off the cell tower he was working on. Now, his family is trying to spread the word about the dangers of the job in hopes of making it safer.

Roberts was working on a cell tower in North Dakota on July 8th, 2013, when he fell off after trying to catch the worker above him who had also just fallen off. But accidents like the one that took Zach's life are not uncommon in the industry and Zach's mother, Linda, and sister, Michelle, want people to know.

"Most people don't know about these accidents and how many lives its taken. Especially to me, the big carrier companies [don't know]," said Linda McCardle, Zach's mother.

A Facebook page called "Go Team Tommy" has been set up by a woman in California who also has a family member who fell off while working on a cell tower. He survived his fall and is slowly recovering, but the woman has made it her mission to share the faces and the stories of tower climbers across the country who have died...including Zach Roberts.

"It don't really hit you until you go and look at all the faces, all the pictures, and see what the families are losin'," McCardle explained. Linda and Michelle hope that the more they can make people aware, the more they can push cell phone companies to make changes to the job.

"Deadlines," said Michelle Roberts, Zach's sister, when asked what she would most like to see changed. Her mother echoed that, saying, "deadlines, that's the biggest thing, is the deadlines that these carriers are puttin' on these climbers...and, I want 'em to take some responsibility, show some compassion or somethin'."

Zach's mother and sister plan to continue to share Zach's story, and the stories of others like him, until they get that change. You can visit the "Go Team Tommy" Facebook page here.

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