LCSO identifies man who died from electrocution at wood shop

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Police lights blare from the officer's vehicle.
Police lights.

A man died while carving wood at a shop on Pine Ridge Road in Fort Myers Beach. The sheriff’s office says it was an accident.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed David Keithley, 38, died Wednesday at Meinke Custom Woodshop after he was electrocuted by the equipment he was working with.

Joellen Hopper, who worked with Keithley said, “He was a very good worker of ours. He was very caution as well and knew what he was doing all the time.”

Keithley was fractal wood burning, and it’s typically done using a transformer from a microwave. That provides the worker with 2,000 volts of power, which is a lot power and very dangerous.

Hopper, who has been with the wood shop for a few months, said Keithley wasn’t new to woodworking.

“I’ve seen plenty of it done,” Hopper said. “We’ve never had any accidents at the shop.”

At Rust Never Sleeps Architectural Salvage, a custom wood shop in For Myers, the tragedy hits close to home for owner Matt Fabian.

“A good friend of mine from Kentucky died two months ago same thing — picked up the hobby,” Fabian said.

This hobby has gone viral on Facebook from posted videos that show how electricity is used to perform the niche woodworking practice.

“These transformers really produce a lot of power, which they’ve made them out of microwave transformers,” Fabian said.

This comes as a reminder that any work with electricity presents risks.

“It’s high voltage electricity,” Fabian said. “It makes cool work, but you have to respect it.”

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