VALLEY VILLAGE - Two women who tried to help victims of an auto accident in Valley Village were electrocuted, and six others were injured, after a vehicle struck a fire hydrant and a light standard on August 23, 2012.
An adult male, the single occupant and driver of a white SUV, sheared off a fire hydrant and light standard just before 8:30 p.m. in the 12000 block of Magnolia Boulevard, near Ben Avenue.
Los Angeles Firefighters arrived to find the SUV stopped on the lawn of a residence. A fire hydrant approximately 10 feet behind it, was shooting water into the sky. The water quickly began to pool. Underneath the vehicle was an old fashioned concrete light standard, leaving behind electrical wires sticking out of the ground. The wires were disguised by darkness, running water, and the commotion of a growing crowd.
Neighbors were startled after hearing the crash and came running out their homes to help. They were met by other concerned citizens whom stopped their cars. Sadly, two of these well intentioned people, stepped into water that was unknowingly energized and were killed. Others followed suit, and were injured.
Fortunately, as firefighters rushed to help the motionless victims on the ground, their keen sense of safety along with warning of bystanders, stopped them stepping into the energized water, and becoming victims themselves. Rather, they quickly utilized rubber gauntlet gloves and a long pike pole to safely remove the victims, then rendered aggressive medical aid. Additional firefighters were immediately requested, and a total of 55 firefighters, all under the command of Battalion Chief Daniel McCarty, assisted in securing the area, shutting down the water flow, and treating the remaining patients.
Also, the Department of Water and Power helped shutting down the electrical and water problems, and LAPD's Valley Traffic Division investigated the crash.
A total of eight individuals, ranging from 19 to 57 years-old were injured. Sadly, and despite assiduous treatment by Firefighter/Paramedic's, two were later pronounced dead at an area hospital. Six others suffered minor injuries, one of which declined transport to a hospital. All but the driver were electrically shocked.
This tragic accident touched all our hearts, and in some ways can serve as a warning. Many people, with nothing but the best intentions, were injured and killed while trying to save others. This reminds all who want to help at the scene of an emergency to stay aware of their surroundings and if there is any question as to safety, please wait for trained rescuers to arrive.
Dispatched Units: E260 E60 T60 RA60 E102 RA78 RA86 EM14 BC14 RA102 RA86 E278 T78 RA89 E86 E289 T89 RA97 RA39 RA88 EM11 EM17 DC3 BC10[photos] [video]
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department