Second repairman electrocuted in St. Johns Co.

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- A repairman was electrocuted Thursday while on the job at a gas station in St. Johns County.

According to authorities on scene, it is the second time in less than one month a repairman has died under the almost exact same circumstances.

The sheriff's office identified the most recent victim as Robert Leslie Wagner, 47, of Orange Park.

Chief Robert Hardwick with the St. Augustine Beach Police Department told First Coast News Wagner was called to the Kangaroo Express in the 300 block of A1A Beach Boulevard on Wednesday evening to work on its coolant system.

"The unit apparently malfunctioned. Kangaroo called its maintenance team, and the internal team came by and advised them they needed more professional experts," Hardwick said.

Wagner was an employee of Integrity First Refrigeration out of Deland, Fla., according to the sheriff's office.

Hardwick said an officer with his department was on routine patrol early Thursday when they noticed a ladder on the side of the gas station and an unmarked, unmanned truck in the parking lot.

The chief said that made the officer suspicious because of past business break-ins reported in the area.

"Unfortunately, our criminals have found ways to get into these businesses. A lot of this is used by one the roof," he said.

The chief also said the officer checked with the store clerk around 2:30 a.m., who reported no prior knowledge of the truck or ladder because their shift had started late at night.

The officer, according to Hardwick, climbed the ladder under the impression a robbery might be in the works. But what he found was Wager's body and conditions favorable to a potential fire.

"He saw the gentleman's actual feet, and as he approached the actual unit he was working on, he actually saw sparks coming from the unit," the chief said.

The district medical examiner's office is working to determine Wagner's cause of death, but authorities have said all indications are he was electrocuted.

"My heart goes out to the family. A very tragic accident," Hardwick said.

Individuals wearing Integrity First t-shirts arrived on scene and were observed talking with law enforcement. The sheriff's office provided members of its homicide and robbery units to assist with the investigation.

No foul play is suspected.

The gas station was expected to resume its normal 24 hour operation later Thursday morning.

On June 26, Joshua Hatcher, 24, was electrocuted after working on lighting at the TA Travel Center in the 1600 block of CR 210.


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