A young Tennessee father of five is dead after the Amateur Radio tower on which he was working collapsed due to a guy anchor letting go. Thirty-year-old Ken Waddell was killed on September 29 while attempting to erect a 70-foot Rohn 25G tower on the property of Dale Darling, W9WBA, in Cookeville, Tennessee. A professional tower climber, Waddell handled the tower job on a freelance basis, rather than for his employer.
According to media accounts, Waddell and Darling checked the new guy anchors in advance of putting up the tower. Waddell was getting ready to attach a second set of guys at 70 feet when a guy at the 40-foot level let go, taking him to the ground on the section where he was attached. He was the only person on the tower when it fell, and died at the scene.
Waddell was the sole financial provider for his family, and a GoFundMe campaign https://www.gofundme.com/waddellfamily has been established. The Tower Family Foundation http://towerfamilyfoundation.org/ and the Hubble Foundation https://www.hubblefoundation.org/ have also reached out to assist Waddell's widow, Cadie, and their five children. Both the Tower Family Foundation and the Hubble Foundation are dedicated in part to providing financial assistance and support to the families of tower workers injured or killed in tower-climbing mishaps.
The ARRL Letter