DANVILLE, Va. – Utility workers face dangerous conditions as they continue to restore energy for families who lost power from the winter storms, but one lineman worker is fighting for his life as his friends try to foster help during his recovery.
Energy, high-spirited and lively is how friends describe 24-year-old Jesse Flack.
”I mean, he is definitely the light of the room,” Flack’s friend, Cody Smith said.
Flack is a Danville Utilities lineman who is now recovering in a North Carolina hospital after being injured on the job.
Joseph Bouffard, another friend of Flack, said he stayed in a state of shock for a few minutes.
“Didn’t believe it at first. Like Jesse, our Jesse,” said Boufford.
We’re told Flack was trying to restore power for residents in Pittsylvania County Tuesday morning after last weekend’s ice storm.
“They had to bring him back twice on the way to the hospital and as he thinks about that he is wondering why in the world is he still here,” family friend, Tina Gauldin, said. “He should be dead.”
Gauldin said Flack is pushing through as he is scheduled for more surgeries after his hand, arm, part of his legs and toes have been amputated.
“It’s very dangerous this time of year with freezing rain,” Danville Utilities Director Jason Grey said. “You know they do very difficult work, very courageous work, restoring power.”
Expected to stay in the hospital for about a month, Flack’s friends created a GoFundMe that has already raised more than $30,000 in just a couple of days.
“Everything that we can get now to help in the long run,” Bouffard said.
While hundreds are still without power in the Danville area, Flack’s friend says more lineman’s lives do not need to be put on the line.
“Just because you don’t have power, that’s not worth somebody getting hurt trying to rush and have life-changing events happen,” Bouffard said.
Wanting to still foster support and encouragement, Flack’s friends and family urge people to send cards to him to help his recovery.
Letters can be sent to Jesse Flack at 1016 Whitetail Avenue, Dry Fork, VA, 24549.
Flack’s mother also wants to highlight the Fallen Linemen Organization that memorializes electrical line workers who have fallen and the families that were impacted.