Twenty-five years ago, a workplace incident caused an employee to lose an arm. He struggled to learn to use a prosthetic limb and return to the job that he loved. That perseverance and courage may have cost Henry Lira his life.
Lira, 60, an employee of Santa Cruz County, CA, was recently pulled into a wood chipper and died at the scene. An ambulance was canceled before it arrived.
But a quarter century ago, when he was working for the county, an incident claimed one of Lira’s arms and badly mangled the other.
Lira grabbed jumper cables out of the cab of a crane when its extension touched a nearby power line, badly shocking and burning him.
Because of severe burns, doctors thought they would have to amputate both of his arms, but they saved one with help from a transplanted toe.
Throughout his recovery, his goal was to get back to work. Lira had worked for the county since 1969.
That same job claimed his life on June 7.
The California Department of Industrial Relations is investigating.