Worker electrocuted after truck hits power line near I-44 in Fenton; hundreds without power

ST. LOUIS, MO — A worker has been electrocuted and over 400 Ameren customers are out of power near Fenton, Missouri.

A boom truck hit a power line at around 10 a.m. near Interstate 44 east of Mraz Road. One person has died as a result of the accident -- a contract worker for MoDOT.

The electrocution victim, identified as 39-year-old Stephen Tepatti of Florissant, was apparently getting a core sample of the road for MoDOT.

“(He was) trying to drill a hole trying to check the thickness of the concrete for a project that’s getting ready to come open in the next few months,” said Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman Dallas Thompson.

When Tepatti raised the boom to drill for a sample, he hit a high power line and was electrocuted by 12,000 volts.

“He died instantly from the electrocution,” said Fenton Fire Chief Tom Steitz.

The electricity from the line caught the back tires of the truck on fire.

“The force of that actually blew a hole in the concrete, so it’s a tremendous amount of current that was passing down through there," Thompson said.

A man working with Tepatti sought shelter. He was not injured, but is very upset about the accident. The two had worked together for several years.

The incident caused the ground wire, which stretches across I-44, to snap. That ground wire plays an important role in distributing electricity to Ameren customers. Traffic was backed up the area as traffic was shut down in both directions while Ameren crews put up a new ground line.