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Newly-Joined Palo Alto City Worker Killed In Transformer Accident Identified

PALO ALTO (CBS SF) -- A City of Palo Alto employee who died Saturday in an electrical transformer accident was identified by city officials Sunday as Donatus Okhomina, a "seasoned electrical lineman" who had started working for the city just this month.

Okhomina, 42, had served in the U.S. Air Force and had worked with both PG&E and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District before coming to Palo Alto. He leaves behind a wife and four daughters, ages 17, 14, 11 and 6.

Saturday's accident occurred about 9:45 a.m. at 670 E. Meadow Drive near Middlefield Road and involved a five-member City Utilities crew, including Okhomina. None of the other workers were injured.

The crew was working on a service request to upgrade an electrical transformer for nearby utility customer Covenant Presbyterian Church. Okhomina was injured there, and died later at a local hospital.

The City of Palo Alto notified California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is assisting OSHA with its review. A city spokeswoman did not say Sunday whether the death was caused by electrocution or by something else.

The Palo Alto Utilities Department had not reported an on-the-job, work-related death in over 30 years before Saturday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Okhomina's family and can be found here: Donatus Okhomina Memorial Fund.

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