SHA worker dies after getting shock on job in Columbia


A 48-year-old State Highway Administration inspector, critically injured and comatose since receiving a high-voltage electrical shock on the job last week, died early Sunday at the Francis Scott Key Burn Center in Baltimore.

Roger D. Rexrode of the 7900 block of Eastdale Road in Baltimore had suffered burns to his back in the accident Tuesday.

Relatives visiting at the Duda-Ruck Funeral Home in Dundalk yesterday said Mr. Rexrode, called "Rex" by friends, never regained consciousness after the accident in which a street lamp struck electrical wires near the intersection of U.S. 29 and Route 175 in Columbia.

Burton Rexrode, the oldest brother of five siblings, said the former SHA worker will be remembered as "a backyard mechanic, who was considerate of others" and who liked a good joke as well as his 73-year-old mother's homemade pies.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Stewart Funeral Home in Mr. Rexrode's hometown of Oakland.

Mr. Rexrode had spent 10 years at the SHA's Dayton office after working for five years with the Mass Transit Administration, said his supervisor, Charlie Watkins.

"He was a good friend to everybody," he said. "It always seems like it's those type of people who this happens to."

Last Tuesday, Mr. Rexrode monitored two workers from the Asplundh Tree Expert Co. as they installed a 28-foot lamp pole. Police said Mr. Rexrode helped one worker manually guide the lamp into its base while the other worker operated a utility crane that lifted the pole.

Mr. Rexrode and 23-year-old Joel Badger, of the 200 block of Turnwood Drive in Glen Burnie, were severely burned when the pole swung and hit a wire carrying 7,600 volts of electricity. The two were taken to the Francis Scott Key Burn Center, where Mr. Badger was listed in serious but stable condition.

The crane operator, 24-year-old Carl Moats, of Boysenberry Drive in Gaithersburg, also was burned. He was released from the Howard County General Hospital on Wednesday.

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