Shortly before midnight yesterday in Chester County, a Verizon worker was killed when he was struck by a cable caught by a passing truck, according to Verizon and state police.

The accident shut down northbound Route 202 in East Whiteland Township until about 6 this morning.

Thomas J. Hetrick, a Verizon employee for 26 years, was part of a crew moving a cable below the Swedesford Road overpass, according to a Verizon statement.

"As a cable was being lowered, a dump truck caught the slack in the cable, and as the tension tightened, the cable hit Hetrick, knocking him over an embankment, where he fell to his death," according to Verizon.

State police said Hetrick suffered major head trauma after being thrown or dragged on northbound 202. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy is scheduled for today by the Chester County Coroner's Office.

The utility work was part of a $23.7 million PennDot project to rebuild three bridges that cross Route 202 in Chester County. The others are at Morehall Road (Route 29) and Cedar Hollow Road.

- Peter Mucha