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Forked River Utility Worker's Death Ruled an Accident

Investigations are ongoing by county and federal officials as well as JCP&L

The death of the Forked River man who was electrocuted while on the job for Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) has been ruled an accident, officials said.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office announced its findings on Saturday, one day after on Friday morning.

After CPR was performed on Grande, he was transported by ground to CentraState Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Monmouth County Director of Investigations Marc LeMieux previously said.

The Prosecutor's Office simply looks at the criminality involved in the incident, First Assistant Prosecutor Richard E. Incremona said. Although there was no indication of a crime, Grande's file is not closed. The underlying cause of the accident will be investigated by outside agencies.

JCP&L employees are well trained, spokesman Todd Schneider said. Grande, an apprentice lineman, had graduated from Brookdale Community College in 2012, where he studied at FirstEnergy’s Power Studies Institute.

“We focus on safety on the job every day. This was just a tragic accident,” Schneider said. “We’re deeply saddened by the loss of our coworker. Our prayers are with the family.”

Schneider could not comment on the accident due to ongoing investigations by county and federal officials. He added that JCP&L is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine exactly what the situation was that caused the incident.

as a “good friend, “great guy” and the “best neighbor,” according to posts on Facebook.

Johnny Uveges said Grande was not a friend but family.

“To sum it all up, Rich was a down to earth simple man enjoying every day as if it was his last. There was not one bad bone is his body. Always a smile on his face. All around great friend! Always helping everyone out,” Robert Diego Schedeman said on Facebook.

“Mamma Grande,” who has now taken over posting on Rich Grande’s Facebook page, said he will be an “unique angel.”

A 2010 Lacey Township High School graduate, Grande received a gold letter in track and field, according to his obituary. He also was an avid hockey fan, was captain of the International Junior Hockey League Trenton Habs and was certified to coach.

“When Richard wasn't playing hockey, he loved spending time with his friends and family. Richard's smile and infectious laugh lit up every room he was in,” the obituary said.

Grande also enjoyed big trucks, country music, fishing, boating and hunting, the obituary said.

Lacey Township School District counselors will be available to aid students in the grieving process from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact the high school at 609-971-2020 for more information.

He is survived by his parents Thomas and Angela Grande of Lacey, and his brother Johnathan. He also leaves his grandmother, Mary Ann Crispin of Toms River; his aunts and uncles, Nick and Lisa, Vinny and Carol, Mike and Liz, Marlene and Jose, Teresa and Kevin, Barbara and Rocco, and Charles and Marybeth; his cousins; Tracy, Mark, Karen, Jennifer, Christopher, Samantha, Matthew, Michael Thomas, Christopher, Scott, Elizabeth, Ashley, Brianna, Nicky, and Tommy. Richard is predeceased by his grandparents, Betty and Armel Pinsonneault and Richard C. Crispin. 

Visitation for Grande will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Silverton Memorial Funeral Home at 2482 Church Road in Toms River. His burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Pius the Tenth Parish in Forked River.

Grande’s obituary asks for people to arrive at the funeral home at 8:30 a.m. Cremation will be private.

jim August 06, 2012 at 08:05 PM
as an inside lineman journeyman since 1988 first i want to give my deepest heartfelt condolences to this young man's family. secondly however i would ask jcp&l spokesman todd schneider how was an apprentice allowed to work on the kind of power that killed him? . either jcp&l needs to review their safety standards or something very wrong is going on with their work policy. in local 3 no apprentice is supposed to be even working on 110 volts never mind the kind of power that took this young man's life.
Isheet Mipants August 06, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I agree with Jim, the contracts negotiated by that local was always an issue with the line dept dealing with the jobs ,the amount of people required for the tasks, and each ones job tasks, My heart bleeds for this kid and his family...But soon the co is going to have to be accountable for the safety of the people they hire with no experiance (on the job experiance) and the risks they endure because they are place in harms way not knowing!
Teri August 07, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I totally agree with jim! And would love an answer!
jim August 07, 2012 at 06:48 PM
chris the very idea that he was close enough to " grab a live wire by accident" is something that needs investigation. apprentices working in skyscrapers or industrial buildings arent even allowed to enter electric closets or enter switchgear rooms (where the main power comes in) . the very fact that he was allowed close enough to a high tension line so he could grab it because he lost his balance is a huge red flag in safety protocol. by the way chris who filled you in on the details of this incident since exact details havent even been fully investigated yet or released to the public? there are many areas apprentices arent allowed to work such as elevator shafts etc. the idea that a young man who only graduated college 2 months ago should be working anywhere near this kind of power is something i,m willing to bet jcp&l will change their policy on very soon.if not they will leave themselves open for many lawsuits.
1stcav August 07, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Chris: so sorry for this loss of a good and well liked young man, seems by accident he did what he had to , to try and avoid a fall and grabbed a live wire to lessen his fall and cost him his life.Was he aware that he was working NEXT to live wires, was he warned, not to touch any others wires near him as they were live ??????? Usually only seasoned workers are allowed near live wires , not rookie's.....Good training ( classes ) IS the only way to learn this ( in the field )O.J.T. by senior lineman as they show you the proper way to do it , the Co. just wants the job done , by who...they don't care," get it done " !!!!! RIP Rich , leave those hooks at the gate and carry on...your shift is done....Thank you for your service to the people of O.C. God Bless Amen !
jim August 07, 2012 at 06:53 PM
my first month in the business in 1982 i walked into a switchgear room carrying a large metal snake. i was grabbed by a journeyman and pulled out of the room right away. at one month in the business i was far from being a seasoned journeyman. i,ve worked rarely on the poles but when i did apprentices were restricted to getting material and maybe even operating the bucket but never allowed up there in the bucket.
Louie August 07, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Today our Lacey Family and Young Adults are in shock and great pain . Lets embrace them with hugs and emotional support. The details of the incident are not important at this time. May you please rest in peace Rich, we know you are watching over us. Godspeed .
jim August 08, 2012 at 02:15 AM
yes my first thought is for this young man's family their loss will be something that has changed their lives forever thats why" i love lacey" the details of this incident are very important. to save other families out there the unbearable grief that this family is going through .every accident whether its a plane crash or an accident like this one needs to be learned from so it can never be repeated.
JOHNNY Done it August 08, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I agree with you Jim & 1st cav We will see after the external investigation by either OSHA or the state .There needs to be accountability for this So this never happens again.... My thoughts & prayers to the family.....

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