Witnesses described the scene following a single car crash that occurred early on the evening of August, 23, 2012, as “horrific”. The vehicle, an SUV, hit a fire hydrant and a light pole which knocked down a power line and sent pools of high voltage water onto the street.
Two Good Samaritans were fatally injured following the crash – the first, in her attempt to help the driver of the SUV, and the second who reportedly attempted to aid the first woman after she was electrocuted.
Before firefighters could arrive, another five good Samaritans would receive non-life threatening shocks in their efforts to help the victims. In all, 55 firefighters had to be dispatched to attend to the victims and make the scene safe.
It is unclear what made the driver lose control of his car, but it was reported that alcohol was not believed to play a factor. The driver, who stayed in his vehicle following the crash, survived.
Fighting Human Instinct
Instead of rushing to the scenes of any accidents, call 911 and wait for emergency responders to arrive.
For many of us, the first instinct following a crash or accident is to offer aid to those who appear as if they need it. As was illustrated in the news story above, it’s always best to fight this instinct and call for emergency services, instead.
We all know that we should never exit our vehicle or attempt to walk to a disabled vehicle in the middle of a busy freeway, but this story didn’t take place on a freeway, it took place in a quiet neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. We might think that it would be okay to approach a vehicle involved in a crash on a quiet street, but as firefighting officials pointed out in reference to the incident above, exposed wiring was camouflaged by the darkness and posed a life threatening risk to all who approached the scene.
When firefighters finally arrived, they ordered Department of Water and Power to shut off the electricity. Then, they used specially designed rubber boots, gloves, and equipment to pull the victims from the scene. This is why it is absolutely crucial not to attempt to do the job of emergency services without the proper training and equipment. By attempting to aid the victims without the proper training and equipment, several more people had to be taken to the hospital.
Above All, Call for Help
Emergency responders can’t respond to an emergency unless they’re dispatched, i.e., alerted to the emergency. Therefore, instead of rushing to the scenes of any accidents, call 911 and wait for emergency responders to arrive. It can be easy for most people to get caught up in the excitement of an auto accident outside their home, but whether it’s between a car and a fire hydrant / electrical power line or between a car and another car, the best thing anyone can do who witnesses an auto accident is to immediately call for help. The quicker emergency responders are alerted, the quicker they can arrive and begin effective rescue operations.
Vibhu Talwar is an electrocution injury attorney who helps people recover compensation for their injuries.