Repairman electrocuted on St. Augustine Beach gas station roof

By Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 17 2014 02:11:12 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2014 08:40:00 AM EDT

Police say a man was electrocuted while working at the gas station.

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -

A man was found dead after working on a cooling unit at a gas station in St. Augustine early Thursday morning.

WJXT reports police identified the man as 47-year-old Robert Leslie Wagner of Orange
Park.

Around 2:30 a.m. a St. Augustine Beach officer was patrolling the area, when the officer noticed a ladder on the side of the Kangaroo Express gas station, located at 351 State Road A1A/Beach Boulevard.

The officer also noticed an unoccupied truck near the ladder, according to St. Augustine Beach police.

When the officer went inside the store to ask the clerk about the ladder.

"The clerk said she didn't know anything about the ladder or the truck so the officer did further investigation, basically suspicious in nature, he climbed the ladder and as he got on top of the roof he noticed the bottom half of a man of an adult figure," said Chief Robert Hardwick, of the St. Augustine Beach Police Department.

Officers said Wagner's body was found inside the cooling unit that was still on and sparking, leading them to believe he was electrocuted.

"The other night clerk actually advised us that there was an electrician actually working on the roof of a broken down cooler unit and he had been there since between 6 and 8 o'clock last night," said Hardwick.

The clerks told police they had been having problems with their cooler Wednesday and that the victim was not an employee of Kangaroo Express, but an outside contracted electrician.

"The Kangaroo Express maintenance team was here all day yesterday and then they called the contracted electrician refrigerator and repair unit to come and actually fix and repair the unit," said Hardwick.

Family members told police they were in contact with Wagner until about 10 p.m. Wednesday night. Police said they believe the electrocution happened around that time.

"Our officers weren't thinking of an electrocution [at first], they were thinking of a suspicious incident; you know, burglary in process or robbery in process. We don't know, suspicious circumstances, so absolutely very dangerous situation for everybody involved and such a tragic event for the family," said Hardwick.

The body will be sent to the medical examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

Officers said the man was not an employee of Kangaroo Express, but an employee of Integrity First Refrigeration of Deland, Florida.

The Sheriff's Office is assisting St. Augustine Beach Police with the investigation.

The Kangaroo Express is a 24-hour gas station and was open during the incident.

Officers closed the gas station due to electricity issues. It's unclear when it will reopen for business.

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