California Fatalities As Downed Power Lines Electrocute Three People

High winds helped to down power lines, and three of five California family members died as a result of a 16,000 volt cable that had ended up in their yard. The San Bernardino Sun has more on the tragedy, which led to both a father and mother, as well as their son, to lose their lives after the California windstorm:

Steven Vego, 43, his wife Sharon, and their son, Jonathan Cole, 21, were killed in the incident, which occurred at 5:45 a.m., San Bernardino City Fire Capt. Michael Bilheimer said.

Steven Vego had apparently heard a transformer explode, and went outside to check on it. In the backyard of the home, he found a 16,000-volt power line down in his backyard.

It was unclear exactly how he was shocked, or if somehow he touched the line, but when his wife and son later came to check on him, they were also fatally shocked, police and fire officials said.

The line went down when winds were ranging between 30 and 50 mph in the north San Bernardino area, SCE spokesman Steve Conroy said. “Was that a contributing factor to the lines coming down? That’s part of the investigation,” he said.

In a situation where a power line has come down outside your home, Conroy urged residents to assume it’s a live line and to stay indoors and immediately call 911.

The San Francisco Chronicle has more on the event, noting that investigations of the downed lines may have caused the fatal electrocutions for the three California residents:

“They heard the explosion, and they went out to look,” fire Battalion Chief Paul Drasil said. “There was a small fire in the front yard and a small fire in the backyard.”

[Image: Public Domain]