First Arriving Network
Powered by the First Arriving Network,Reaching 1M+ First Responders Worldwide

Bizarre Crash Sequence Kills 2 Good Samaritans

Downed Power Lines Electrocute Would-Be Rescuers

TWO WOMEN WERE ELECTROCUTED WEDNESDAY night in Los Angeles when they tried to help a car crash victim. 

The unusual series of events started around 8:30 pm Pacific when a car went out of control while trying to make a right turn in the North Hollywood area of the city.  The car sheared off a wet-barrel fire hydrant and then crashed into a utility pole.  The electric wires were knocked down and landed in the water gushing from the hydrant and effectively charging it.  KABC-TV describes what happened next:

A woman who lived in a nearby residence rushed out to help the driver, was shocked by water energized by the power line and later died. A husband and wife passing by in a vehicle stopped to help. That woman also was electrocuted.

As more people approached the scene to help, more of them were shocked. Witnesses said they heard people screaming.

"There was some gentleman going, "Don't touch her! Don't touch her!' Then there was somebody else going, 'Somebody help her! Somebody pull her out!'" said witness Everett Hernandez. "I saw people. It looked like they were wrestling…but what they were really doing is they were pulling people from getting electrocuted because there was a live wire under the water."

Investigators said that eight people in total were injured, including a police officer. Five people were taken to a hospital and one was treated at the scene. The driver sustained minor injuries.


A neighbor who heard the skid and crash outside his house told KNBC-TV reporters:  "I run outside and across the street I see two women laying on the sidewalk. I see two or three young gentlemen keep trying to rescue them and pull them to safety and each time they would try to pull them they were getting shocked."

Besides the driver and the two fatalities, five other people were transported after being shocked while trying to help the victims.

KNBC-TV has this extended video report:


View more videos at:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Comments - Add Yours

  • mr618

    This is why the American Red Cross starts all of their CPR/First Aid classes with “Check the scene for safety…” For the lay responder especially, we try to drill that into their skulls as THE most important part of rendering aid. For the professional rescuers, we emphasize it as a critical part of scene size-up — the “windshield size-up” the fire world uses.

  • bkane

    I understand what you’re saying, but the woman who went to the rescue and was killed was my dear friend. She was beautiful, kind, bright and caring and was always there to help if someone needed help. Knowing her, her gut reaction was to get the person out of the car. She waill be deeply missed, because she always did the right thing and was loved dearly by all.

    • mr618

      My condolences on your loss. I was not trying to be facetious. From what the story reports, your friend, as well as the other woman, was doing her best to help someone in need, and was acting with only the best of intentions. I was pointing out that folks must be aware of their surroundings before acting… just like we check our mirrors before changing lanes.

  • bkane

    Like I said I understand and Thank You.