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Third lineman injured in Chipley hit-and-run crash dies

Ryan Barrett 2.JPG
Posted at 1:20 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2019-10-02 15:35:40-04

CHIPLEY, Fla. (WTXL) -  The Florida Highway Patrol has released the names of the linemen who were killed in a hit-and-run accident in Chipley while trying to restore power that was lost due to Hurricane Michael.

The men who died have been identified as George Cecil, 52, of Cole Rain, NC, and James Ussery, 60, of Chipley, according to an FHP news release. The third linemen, Ryan Barrett, 22, of Roanoke Rapids, NC, has died after being hospitalized in critical condition. 

The linemen were hit about 6:50 p.m. Wednesday while working at State Road 77 and Talton Drive. 

The driver was identified as John Roland Goedtke, 37, of Tampa, and has been taken to the Washington County Jail. He has been charged with felony DUI manslaughter, felony vehicular homicide, felony leaving the scene. 

Additional charges are pending. 

Troopers say Goedtke was driving his Ford F-150 with a U-haul trailer attached to it when he traveled into a grass shoulder on S.R. 77 and hit the three linemen.

He then ran away, but was later found and detained by the Washington County Sheriff's Office before troopers arrested him. 

Troopers say Cecil and Barrett were employed with Lee Electric Construction while Ussery was employed by West Florida Electric Cooperative. 

West Florida Electric Cooperative shared a post on social media about the loss:

Florida Highway Patrol Investigators are currently asking anyone that may have witnessed or has additional information about the crash to please call them at 850-471-6924 or 850-499-6391. 

Two lineman dead, suspect in custody in hit-and-run crash in Chipley

CHIPLEY, Fla. (WTXL) - Three lineman were hit, with two being confirmed dead, in a fatal hit-and-run accident on State Road 77 in Chipley as they were working to restore power lost due to Hurricane Michael. 

The Washington County Sheriff's Office posted about the accident on Facebook, saying SR 77 is closed from Wausau to Chipley and are asking drivers to avoid the area. 

According to WCSO, at about 6:42 p.m., three linemen were hit by a vehicle on S.R. 77, as they were working to restore power lost due to Hurricane Michael. 

The driver, who initially fled on foot, was spotted by a Chipley Police Officer and has since been identified as John Roland Goedtke, 37, of Tampa Florida. 

Goedtke was arrested and taken to the Washington County Jail.

Florida Highway Patrol is the lead investigative agency in this case and multiple charges pending at this time.