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NEWS CENTER Maine engineer described as 'hard-working, real Maine guy' dies in fall from tower in Union

James Larner, 74, of Bangor worked part-time as an engineer with us at NEWS CENTER Maine.
Credit: NCM

UNION, Maine — Jim Larner, a part-time engineer at NEWS CENTER Maine, died Wednesday. 

Larner, 74, fell from a communication tower in Union just before 1 p.m. 

"Jim was a lot of fun, always happy to talk, share a story. A smart, hard working, real Maine guy. One of those people the audience never sees, but whose work was critical to them being able to watch TV for many, many years," NEWS CENTER Maine's Don Carrigan wrote in an email to NCM staff. 

All of us at NEWS CENTER Maine extend our condolences to Jim's family and friends. He was a friend to many.

Below are some reminiscences of Jim from NEWS CENTER Maine staff, in reaction to the news of his passing:

He worked for us for many years, most recently in a part-time capacity. Jim was 74. I know that he was a loving husband and primary caregiver for his wife. Jim loved talking about his granddaughter, too. He is going to be missed as a co-worker and friend.

Judy Horan

Jim started working for WLBZ in 2003. He was full of funny stories, a master of sarcasm and an all around good guy. I’ll miss saying, “Good morning, James!” that always came with a hearty return of “Good morning, Mark!”

Mark Parent

I’ll miss our early morning talks about his work, his wife, daughter and granddaughter. He was such a hardworking man and I am so sad to hear this news. He will be missed.

Terri Brewster

Credit: NCM

Here is a great pic of Jim standing in front of his beloved WLBZ Transmitter Building at Ryders Bluff. Jim was faithful and reliable and always answered the call whenever he was needed. And his sense of humor was all MAINE and all FUN! Engineering will miss him terribly.

Nathan Tinsley

Jim and I shared January for WLBZ birthdays. Very nice man.

Kelly Slater

During authorities' investigation, they did not find any foul play or anything suspicious. Larner had a harness and carabiner clips and was believed to be “hooked” in according to a close friend that was on scene, the department reported.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was contacted and will be conducting a follow-up investigation along with the Maine Medical Examiner’s office.

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