A man was electrocuted at a Fullerton intersection after walking over a downed power line, The Orange County Register reports. Officials say the incident occurred the afternoon of April 25, 2014. Police responded to reports of a man who was down on a sidewalk at the South Brookhurst Road and West Commonwealth Avenue intersection. Witnesses told officers the man had been pushing a shopping cart when he walked over the downed power line. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say the line may have fallen after a mylar balloon hit electrical equipment.
The Danger of Downed Power Lines
Approaching downed power lines can be fatal. It is not easy for someone who is walking on the street to even spot a downed line. Sometimes, people may see a small fire in the grass, but even then they may not realize that it is an energized line that is causing the fire. You don’t even have to touch a downed line in order to get electrocuted. Electricity can reach you through the ground if you get close enough to a downed live wire.
Ongoing Investigation in Fullerton
Based on this news report, officials say the line was brought down by a mylar balloon that hit electrical equipment. However, it is not clear how long the line had been downed or when it was reported to the utility company. Did the utility company know about the downed line? Were there any attempts made to repair it or alert pedestrians to stay from it? I trust these are some of the questions that must be answered in order to determine precisely what occurred here. If the utility company is determined to have been at fault in this case, the family members of the deceased victim could file an Orange County wrongful death claim against the utility company seeking compensation for damages. An attorney that specializes in electrocution cases in Orange County would be ideal to consult with.
Staying Safe in Orange County
Here are a few tips to stay safe around downed power lines:
Stay at least 300 feet away from all downed lines and keep others from going near them. Call the utility company or police/fire department right away.
- Be careful while driving or parking a vehicle near downed wires. Never drive over downed power lines. Even when they are not energized, they can become entangled in your vehicle.
- If a wire falls down on your vehicle, stay inside until you get professional help.
- Never attempt to cut or remove a tree that could become entangled with power lines.
- Teach children never to play around electric equipment and never to touch power lines.