Family wants answers after metro man electrocuted and killed on the job

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- “It still doesn't seem real, I haven't slept,” said Tonita Dickerson, Darrell’s younger sister.

The family of a metro man is mourning his death after he was electrocuted on the job.

The deadly accident near Wichita claimed the life of 38-year-old Darrell Harden on Friday.

“My mom she called me and said my grandma would be coming to pick me up, and I asked what for, and she didn't respond, and when I got here, she told me to sit down, my little brothers were crying, and that’s when she told me he had passed,” says Harden’s oldest son, Darrell Jr.

Darrell Jr. got the news his father passed away Friday afternoon.

“He was a bricklayer in the union. He had been working for there a pretty long time, I think since 1997 or 1998,” Darrell Jr. explained.

He was working in Andover, near Wichita, when the lift truck he was on hit an overhead power line.

“He was always the first to show up and the last to leave, and he would make sure he did a 100 percent job. That's what our family does,” Darrell Jr. said.

Harden is one of 18 children in his family. His sisters said some people called him by his middle name, Mario.

They said he was always looking out for his family.

“Growing up, he took real good care of us, me and my other brothers and sisters, the younger ones,” Dickerson said. “He was always there for me, and told me the right thing to do, and he made me a better person.”

Nicole Purnell, another one of Darrell’s siblings, said he kept the family together.

“When my mother passed away, he was the reason why myself and my siblings didn't have to get split up,” Purnell said. “He's not only my brother, but he's a father figure for my son.”

Harden has three boys, ages 10, 11 and 16.

“I'm strong, gotta stay strong for my family,” Darrell Jr. said. “He was the best man that anyone could have. No one could replace him."

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating Harden’s death.

FOX 4’s Melissa Stern reached out to the company he was working for, Omega Concrete Systems, multiple times but have not heard back.

“Would I like an investigation to go on? Yes. Would I like some answers? Yes. I think we all deserve some answers as to why a good man has passed away,” said Shikira Hoy, Darrell’s sister.

Harden also leaves behind a loving wife, Linda, who he's been with for more than two decades.

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