The Harrison County Republican Women’s group invites the public to its luncheon Friday to hear guest speaker Michelle Brannon, a Hallsville mother who pushed for power line legislation following the 2017 death of her son and two other Boy Scouts at Lake O’ the Pines.
“Her son and two other boys were electrocuted on Lake O’ the Pines a couple of years ago,” said Donna Philyaw, president of Harrison County Republican Women. “She is now working on a safety committee to correct that.”
Brannon’s son, 17-year-old Will Brannon, a Hallsville Eagle Scout; and his friends 16-year-old Heath Faucheux, a fellow Eagle Scout; and 11-year-old Hallsville Boy Scout Thomas Larry were killed in a boating incident in 2017 when the topsail mast of the catamaran they were in contacted a poorly maintained power line at Lake O’ the Pines while on the troop’s monthly campout.
The power line was not in compliance with standards established by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the National Electric Safety Code.
As a result of the tragedy, the families of the fallen Boy Scouts banded together, working with legislators to pass the William Thomas Heath Power Line Safety Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2019. The bill was named in honor of the fallen Boy Scouts.
The act, also known as House Bill 4150, was authored by State Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) and requires that all utilities make regular inspections of their power lines to ensure that high-voltage carriers comply with state and federal safety regulations, including requirements regarding height.
Philyaw said the public is invited to Friday’s meeting to learn more about Brannon’s continued efforts to promote power line safety.
“Come and help us make a difference,” Philyaw said, encouraging the public to attend.
The luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m. Friday at the Marshall Elks Lodge. A meal will be catered by Lyn Mock of Meals and More.
For reservations for meals, call Shirley at (318) 393-0245.