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19-year-old diver killed at LG&E power plant identified

Firefighters from several departments were called to the LG&E Mill Creek Plant at 14600 Dixie...
Firefighters from several departments were called to the LG&E Mill Creek Plant at 14600 Dixie Highway shortly after 1 p.m., dispatchers said.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 1:50 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 3:59 PM EDT
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EDITOR’S NOTE: One week after this story aired on WAVE 3 News, Bulldog Diving owners told WAVE 3 News that its dive team consisted of four members, not two, as LG&E had claimed. When WAVE 3 News reached out to LG&E, a spokesman confirmed the dive team consisted of four members.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A diver who was reportedly sucked into a pump at an LG&E power plant has been identified.

The body of Jaxxyn Lee Wood, 19, of Owensboro, was recovered from the Ohio River, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.

Wood’s death was consistent with drowning, the coroner said.

Firefighters from several departments were called to the plant at 14600 Dixie Highway shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, MetroSafe dispatchers confirmed.

LG&E spokeswoman Chris Whelan said a two-person contract diving team consisting of a monitor and a diver were doing routine inspections when the monitor lost contact with the diver. The divers are from Bulldog Diving Inc.

Bulldog Diving owners told WAVE 3 News over the phone that the employee was highly regarded and widely loved by everyone.

Fred Metzmeier, who owns Seaweed Diver Dive Center and has been in the diving business for 36 years, said that beneath the surface of the water lies a challenging and risky job.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for them, if they’re dealing with our river,” he said Thursday during the search. “You can cross it today, and see there’s nothing but mud. And that’s what they see when they get into the water. It’s mud. Everything is by feel.”

LMPD spokeswoman Beth Ruoff said that after arriving at the scene, officers determined the mission would be a recovery.

According to the company’s website, the Mill Creek Generation Station is LG&E’s largest coal-fired power plant. It sits on 544 acres and went into operation in 1972 to meet an unprecedented increase for energy in the Louisville area.

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