Officials say a high school baseball coach and his wife were electrocuted while installing a new scoreboard at a Florida baseball field to replace one that had been destroyed by Hurricane Michael.
Liberty County School Board member Kyle Peddle said that Coach Corey Crum and a few baseball players and parents were putting up the scoreboard Sunday afternoon. He says Crum was in “some kind of lift and he got into an electrical line.”
Peddle, whose son is also on the team, says Crum’s wife Shana came to her husband’s aid and was also electrocuted. The couple’s son Chase, 14, was also injured.
Corey and Shana Crum were pronounced dead at the scene.
Liberty County Sheriff’s officials said in a Facebook post that team members were taken to the gym, where grief counselors were available.
Liberty County Sheriff Joe White confirmed in a press release sent out Monday morning the electrocution deaths of Liberty County High School Head Baseball Coach Corey Crum, 39, his wife Shana Crum, 41 and the injury of their son, 14, at the Liberty County High baseball field Sunday.
The boy is expected to recover.
“Coach Crum was operating a boom lift, and unloading a piece of equipment from a trailer when the boom of the lift made contact with overhead power lines,” the press release said. “This electrified the boom lift electrocuting Coach Crum. The coach’s wife then attempted to aid him, and was also electrocuted. Their son also attempted to help the two, and he was electrocuted and injured.”
The parents were pronounced dead at the scene by Liberty County EMS.
“This is a tragic event which has rocked our community to its core. We ask for prayers and respect for the family, students and parents involved,” said the Sheriff’s Office.
Their son, Chase Crum, was also injured. Peddie believed the boy was burned, but his injuries were not life-threatening. The boy reportedly has been transferred to UF Health Shands Hospital.
Crum was in his first year as head varsity baseball coach after previously coaching the junior varsity team.
“He was doing a phenomenal job,” Peddie said. ”We had a two o’clock game (Saturday) against Cottondale and won 11 to one.”
The team also defeated the defending state champion baseball team Port St. Joe with a score of three to one on Friday night.
Peddie described Crum as well-loved in the community.
“The boys are devastated,” he said.
Corey Crum’s brother Randall Crum, visited the gymnasium where the baseball team gathered after the incident. He talked to the team, saying their coach would have wanted them to always do their absolute best and keep pressing forward.
“It was remarkable to see a man that just lost his brother come and talk to the boys and he did that with great resolve,” Peddie said. “It was something to behold.”
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Summers said more than 20 people, including coaches, parents and players, were at the field when the incident occurred.
Students present at the baseball field at the time were transported to the Liberty County High School gym.
“The school board is providing grief counselors for all the students and parents,” Summers said, “and (today) they’re going to continue to provide that for all students at all the schools that may be effected by this.”
Sen. Bill Montford went to the scene to provide support to those affected.
“At this time, all indications are that this was a tragic accident. Investigators are continuing to gather information, and an exam will be conducted by the medical examiner’s office,” the sheriff said in a Sunday evening statement on Facebook. “Additional School Resource Deputies will be assigned to Liberty County High School tomorrow to support students, parents and staff as possible. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this tragedy.”
Image: (L-R) Shana Crum, 41, and Corey Crum, 39