SHAMELESS: Brother of Lake O' the Pines 1982 accident victim speaks out

SHAMELESS: Brother of Lake O' the Pines 1982 accident victim speaks out

TYLER - The recent deaths of three boy scouts on Lake O' the Pines is similar to one that happened in 1982, and a family member of that tragedy is voicing his concern over safety on the lake.

On Dec. 21, 1982, Jerry Irwin of Longview died after the mast of his sailboat hit a live wire at Lake O' the Pines, not far from where the three boy scouts died August 5.

His twin brother, Tom, tells CBS19 the Saturday accident killing three Boy Scouts could've been prevented. 

"That should've never happened. Those lines should've been so high that no boat could've hit those electrical lines," he said.

On the day of his brother's death, Tom was on his way from Dallas with his sister to visit Jerry for Christmas. It would've been the first time in 18 years the entire family would be together for the holiday. 

He said he thought it was a joke when he got the phone call. 

In an effort to prevent another electrocution from happening, Tom has contacted the Boy Scouts, hoping to partner with the corps of engineers to inspect lakes across the country - looking for low hanging electric wires. 

"The Army Corps of Engineers need to start a survey of all power lines at all lakes now and any lines that are too low need remediation ASAP." Tom said. "There is no excuse for this to have happened. I would encourage everyone to contact their State Representative and Senator now. Our Governor also needs to address this issue."

Tom stated that he feels a third party should work with the Army Corps of Engineers, Electric Companies and Park Services to verify that power lines are safe.

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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