updated 3/1/2010 4:13:06 PM ET 2010-03-01T21:13:06

Authorities believe a Washington man was killed by accidentally urinating on a downed power line after a car crash.

Grays Harbor County sheriff's Deputy Dave Pimentel said Monday 50-year-old Roy Messenger was not seriously hurt after he collided with a power pole Friday and called a relative to pull his car from a ditch.

However, family members found Messenger electrocuted when they arrived.

Pimentel says Messenger apparently urinated into a roadside ditch but didn't see the live wire. The urine stream likely served as a conductor, allowing the electricity to reach his body.

Pimentel says there will be an autopsy but burn marks indicated the way the electricity traveled through Messenger's body.

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