Worker Dies in Apparent Electrocution

From a Times Staff Writer

A Moorpark farm laborer died Tuesday morning when a 16-foot aluminum ladder he was using in a hillside avocado orchard fell onto an electrical power line, authorities said.

Francisco Menchaca, 36, of Santa Paula, was flown by helicopter about 11 a.m. to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

Ventura County Deputy Coroner Craig Stevens said Menchaca was pronounced dead on arrival and his family in Mexico has been notified.

"Cause of death appears to be from electrocution," Stevens said. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Authorities said there were no witnesses to the accident, but suspect Menchaca was electrocuted while repositioning the ladder.

Ventura County Sheriff's Department spokesman Eric Nishimoto said investigators from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health are looking into the death.

Cal/OSHA officials could not be reached for comment; the agency routinely investigates workplace accidents.

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