A tragic San Diego electrical accident caused the wrongful death of a local landscaper who was trimming a pine tree. Moises Hernandez Sr., owner of his own tree-trimming and landscaping company, often volunteered at a local church by maintaining its grounds. According to The Coast News, Hernandez was trimming a large pine tree near the church when his metal tool came in contact with a San Diego Gas & Electric Wire, instantly electrocuting Hernandez.
Hernandez was hit with a shock of 12,000-volts that resulted in his wrongful death. Police reports stated “the church’s caretaker called 911 after hearing a ‘loud buzzing’ noise.” The first responders found Hernandez, unresponsive in the tree. SDG&E had to be called to cut power to lines touching the tree before Hernandez could be rescued. It took SDG&E three hours to get trucks to the scene to cut power—Hernandez was ultimately pronounced dead before he was removed from the tree.
Hernandez’s children are now pursuing a wrongful death claim against SDG&E for the death of their father. The case is alleging that not only is SDG&E liable for arriving late to the scene, thus delaying Hernandez’s rescue, but also that power lines were not properly insulated. The investigation of the incident is still underway, but SDG&E may have also been negligent in not properly pruning the trees surrounding the powerlines—trees are supposed to be trimmed every year to “prevent electrocutions, fires or power outages.”
This electrocution wrongful death accident was indeed tragic. Power lines are extremely dangerous. If you ever see a downed powerline or see another person get electrocuted, it is best to get to safety as soon as possible and call 911 for emergency help. In an electrical accident it is also important to call the emergency number for the local utility company.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of an electrocution personal injury or wrongful death, you should also contact a California personal injury/wrongful death attorney immediately. A skilled attorney can conduct the investigation necessary to find the cause of the accident and pursue damages from the responsible party.