MOSH probing death of Washington College junior

October 22, 1992|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,Staff Writer

State safety officials are investigating the death of a Washington College junior who was electrocuted while working at the institution's theater.

Edward A. Schroeder, 22, who a school spokesman said was a student assistant in the Eastern Shore college's drama department, was found dead Friday night on a catwalk above the stage in Tawes Theatre.

Funeral services were conducted yesterday in Ridgefield, Conn. A memorial service will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Washington College's Martha Washington Square in Chestertown.

The body of Mr. Schroeder, a native of South Salem, N.Y., was discovered about 10:45 p.m. Friday on a metal catwalk where he apparently had been working on lighting fixtures above the stage.

Wayne Bradley, chief of the Chestertown Police Department, said Mr. Schroeder had been dead for at least two hours when he was found.

Chief Bradley said the victim's girlfriend, whom he did not identify, discovered the body on the catwalk. She went to the nTC theater to find Mr. Schroeder, the chief said, after waiting elsewhere for him. When Mr. Schroeder didn't show up, she went to find him.

"Our preliminary finding is that he was accidentally electrocuted," Chief Bradley said.

He said investigators found frayed wiring leading from a light fixture that Mr. Schroeder was working on.

Meredith Davies, a spokeswoman for Washington College, said Mr. Schroeder "was a student assistant in the drama department and was not considered an employee of the college; he wasn't paid for his work."

She added the junior's work in the drama department involved only setting up lights for performances, not doing electrical wiring.

But Doug Wallis, a supervisor of operations for the office of Maryland Occupational Safety and Health, said yesterday Mr. Schroeder was a part-time employee, adding: "We have check stubs to indicate this.

"What we have to ascertain is whether this incident was work-related or he was doing the work on his own," Mr. Wallis said.

A MOSH report on the conclusions of the investigation could be ready by the end of the week, he said.

The parents of Mr. Schroeder were not available for comment.

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