Saffron Walden jogger dies after power cable incident in Newport

A JOGGER has died in a freak accident after suffering severe burns when an 11,000 volt electricity cable came down in a field.

He has been named locally as James Kew, a member of the Saffron Striders, who was out running with the group along the track between Ringers Farm and the Shortgrove Estate in Newport when the incident happened.

Police and firefighters were called to a field near Debden Road at around 8.40pm last night (Tuesday) to reports a jogger had come into contact with a collapsed cable and that a blaze had started in a nearby field.

Mr Kew, who was in his early 40s, and from the Saffron Walden area, was pronounced dead at the scene.

East of England Ambulance Service crews were also called at just after 8.45pm but Mr Kew had already died by the time medics arrived seven minutes later.

Crews treated two further patients at the scene for minor electric shocks.

They were also present while the electricity was cut off and during initial police investigations before taking the man’s body to Princess Alexandra Hospital mortuary in Harlow. Crews left the scene at 1.30am.

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Saffron Striders confirmed Mr Kew’s death on the group’s website.

“It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce the death of James Kew, as a result of a tragic accident whilst out running.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Mr Kew was an extremely talented runner and was the first Saffron Strider home in the Virgin London Marathon in April with a time of 3hrs 5mins.

He raised nearly �1,500 for the Action Duchenne charity.

Mr Kew also finished 33rd in this year’s Hatfield Broad Oak 10k with a time of 37min 38sec – an event which included more than 1,000 competitors.

Bishop’s Stortford Hockey Club - of which Mr Kew was also a member – paid tribute on social network site Twitter.

“Very sad news about 4th XI and Vets player James Kew who sadly died in a freak accident whilst running yesterday. Condolences to Kew family.”

Gill Hodder, a member of the club, also tweeted: “James Kew – so sad – a true gentleman – condolences to his lovely family.”

UK Power Networks engineers are currently helping with an investigation into what happened and were still surveying the scene this morning.

They were called to the incident at around 9.50pm last night to isolate the power to the cable, with firefighters were standing by as disconnection took place.

A spokesman said: “Our thoughts at this time are with the family and friends of a man who died and also our employees who helped at the scene.”

Police have launched a joint investigation with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed.