WJZ-TV worker found dead at home

May 27, 1994|By David Michael Ettlin | David Michael Ettlin,Sun Staff Writer

A staff technician for WJZ-TV was found dead outside his Pikesville home yesterday, where he apparently suffocated after falling head first into a hole while making plumbing repairs, Baltimore County fire officials said.

The body of Jerry M. Weiner, 41, was found in the back yard about 5:30 p.m. by Channel 13 operations supervisor Fred Thomas, who went to the home in the 4500 block of Old Court Road to check on the employee after he had failed to report for his 4 p.m. shift.

The previous night, according to operations and engineering director Rick Seaby, Mr. Weiner had told co-workers that he was having a problem with the well.

He apparently used the well despite having public water lines in the front of his home, fire officials said.

Mr. Weiner, who had worked for the station since August 1976, was a master control technician responsible for the controls determining what is on the air at any given time.

It was not known how long he had been stuck in the hole, which was about 4 feet deep and had water in the bottom.

"The way he was lying, he was unable to maneuver himself," said Capt. Leon Fleming of the fire department's Station 2 in Pikesville. "And no one saw him, so he suffocated with what little oxygen was left in the hole."

A next-door neighbor, Miriam Shapiro, said Mr. Weiner, who was single, had lived there about six or seven years. "He was a very private person, a very hard worker -- always working around his house," she said.

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