• Owner explains how worker got stuck 150 feet up working on tower

    By: Scott Wickersham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The worker rescued by Charlotte firefighters after he got stuck 150 feet up a cellphone tower is home Friday.

    The owner of the company that man works for said he didn't fall, but he was supposed to be hanging there Thursday and doing work.

    However, the worker slipped off a plate that supported his weight and soon realized he couldn't get himself back up.

    Read more: Rescuers recount saving man 150-feet high on cell tower

    Cellphone tower worker Daniel Hopey's partner called 911 for backup Thursday afternoon after Hopey became stuck.

    John Laughter said Hopey was there to work on a radio on the tower when he slipped off the support plate in his harness.

    “He shifted his body to try to reach over and when he did he slipped out of his butt harness, all the (way) down into the full leg lanyards,” Laughter said.

    With those lanyards cutting off his circulation, Hopey realized he couldn't get himself back up.

    “Once you get into that position, if you've never been there before you can’t understand. There is no flipping upside down. I don’t care how strong you are, you're not going to pull up,” Laughter said.

    It took two firefighters nearly an hour to pull him back up to the platform.

    Laughter said Hopey deliberately stopped at the edge of the platform and slowly allowed blood to flow back into his legs, as he's trained to, to avoid a blood clot.

    “All that dead blood in your legs. If they take you out of that too fast it will rush right back up into your heart and you'll clot,” Laughter said.

    Soon after Hopey was lowered down he was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Hopey -- the father of a young boy, with another child on the way -- is happy to be home and on the ground.

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