While there were smiles and handshakes all around in marking the official completion of BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line at events here Aug. 13, there were also tributes given to one worker who was killed during construction.
On March 15, Todd Thornewell was in a man bucket suspended about 85 feet above the ground by a mobile crane at one of the transmission line towers when it hit a boom and he was thrown out. Thornewell, from Alberta, was working for McGregor, a sister company of main powerline contractor Valard, brought in for portions of the work.
BC Hydro vice president Greg Reimer, in remarks made at BC Hydro’s Skeena Subdivision, the start of the transmission line, noted that while safety and ensuring everyone goes home at night is a key goal of the crown corporation, there was the accident that claimed Thornewell’s life.
“I’d like to take a minute to honour his contribution and bow our heads in a moment’s silence,” he told those at the substation.
Nisga’a Lisims Government secretary treasurer Corinne McKay, in a blessing and prayer given at a luncheon held at the Skeena Golf & Country Club, also mentioned Thornewell.
She asked God to “continue to keep your arms of protection around the family that is still grieving.”