Fallen Georgia Power lineman a father of 4

Published: Aug. 11, 2011 at 3:41 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2011 at 1:18 PM EDT
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By: Cade Fowler

MOULTRIE (WALB) - A family is mourning after an on-the-job accident killed a veteran Georgia Power lineman.

48-year-old Steve Sellers was electrocuted Tuesday night while working a power outage near the Tift-Berrien County line.

Family and friends of Sellers packed his Moultrie home Wednesday. But a full house was empty without him there.

Few with a dry eye, loved ones looked over picture that captured smiles of happier times - of a family man.

"You couldn't ask for a better man, better son, brother, brother-in-law. He was just an awesome man," said Sellers' brother-in-law, Dean Hamner.

Hamner worked alongside his brother-in-law at Water Gas and Light in Albany. Sellers spent 16 years with WG&L before going to work for Georgia Power 4 years ago.

He says safety was Sellers' top priority.

"He helped train me," he said. "There's a lot of young workers who are hurting today because he's no longer with us."

With 2 decades of experience under his belt, the veteran lineman, who recently traveled to Texas to repair outages caused by a violent storm, had encountered the worst of conditions.

"He would go wherever Georgia Power sent him. He would go on storms, hurricanes, ice storms, snow," said Hamner.

But Tuesday night something went wrong while Sellers was repairing a downed line on Highway 82 near Brookfield.  Despite CPR attempts by coworkers, he died from electrocution.

"You're woken out of a sleep and told your brother is no longer with us. It's hard to rationalize and wrap yourself around that," said Sellers' brother, Buddy.

He says the two had recently become closer, and instead of parting one another with a simple goodbye, over the past 3 years their farewells ended with a hug and I love you.

While everyone remembers the man as happy and caring, the void he leaves behind is huge - a wife and four kids - two boys and two girls ranging in from 8 to 22 years old. A husband and father so full of life, gone so quickly.

"Take it to heart," said Buddy Sellers. "Everyday could be the last day with someone you love so reach out to them."

But in the midst of this tragedy, where so much is hard to understand, the weight of this now all falls on faith.

"We pray that what he left in us will make us better people. For all his friends who are hurting out there, he'll be deeply missed. We just thank God he knew Jesus and that he's in Heaven," said Hamner.

We contacted Georgia Power for comment Wednesday, but they would not release any information about the incident or how it happened. An investigation is being conducted.

Visitation for Steve Sellers will be held Friday night from 6 to 8 at Baker Funeral Home in Moultrie.

Funeral plans aren't final yet.

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