July 5, 2013

Fatality at Lake Cumberland

Man saves son before being electrocuted

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A man heralded as a success at his job is now considered a hero after saving his son in a freak boating accident on Sunday.

Kevin Short, 34, of Robinson Creek Road in Lily, lost his own life but saved his son from being electrocuted at a boat dock on Lake Cumberland in Somerset on Sunday.

Short and his family — his wife, Linda, and three children — were enjoying a day on the lake when they went back to a private dock on Garland Bend Road near Burnside.

According to the Somerset Commonwealth Journal, Pulaski County Coroner Chuck Godbey said Short died from electrocution after he grabbed an aluminum ladder that had touched an electrical wire. Godbey said the wire was from an extension cord that had been plugged into an outlet at the dock and had rubbed against a rock, exposing one of the wires. The ladder itself was electrically charged, and when Short grabbed the ladder, he was instantly electrocuted.

However, even in those last moments Short protected his son from the same fate — shoving him away from the ladder and inevitably saving the child from being electrocuted as well.

Godbey said the 110-volt cord normally wouldn’t cause such a drastic effect, but being in the water intensifies the effects of electricity. However, the low-voltage electrocution was powerful enough to stop Short’s heart, ruled as the cause of death.

Short was an area manager of Walmart Distribution Center in London, a position he had held for the past seven years. News of his death brought a “somber” atmosphere to the London facility.

“It’s very sad,” said Greg Byrd with the Human Resources division at Walmart D.C. “Kevin was a very people-oriented manager and all the managers and associates liked him. He was very well respected.”

Byrd said Short was a success story among the employees of the London plant, beginning as a order filler in 2000 and achieving supervisor position just three years later.

“In May 2006, he was made manager in the shipping department. He was definitely a success story,” Byrd said. “It was very somber here because we are like a family here.”

Byrd said employees honored Short with a moment of silence at the team meetings on Monday morning — an act that will be repeated during the manager’s meetings this week.

“He will be truly missed by everybody,” Byrd said.

Funeral arrangements for Kevin Short will be held on Thursday, July 4, with visitation beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Bowling Funeral Home in London. A complete obituary is listed on Page 6A.