3 People in Portland Dead After Car Shocked By Downed Power Lines

Portland Fire officials reported a tragic incident where two adults and a teenager lost their lives due to electrocution after leaving their car. Additionally, a toddler aged 2 was hospitalized following the event.

death in portland
Image courtesy of Fox News / KPTV

In a tragic incident in Northeast Portland, a devastating accident claimed the lives of three individuals and left a young child injured. This horrific event occurred when power lines, weighed down by a tree branch, tragically fell onto their vehicle.

The Portland Fire & Rescue team was called to the scene on Northeast Siskiyou Street near 122nd Avenue. Reports indicated a vehicle fire and a request for medical assistance. Upon arrival, it was discovered that two adults and a teenager had lost their lives after exiting their vehicle, only to be electrocuted. This heart-wrenching turn of events was confirmed by Rick Graves, a spokesperson for the fire department.

Photo from Jan. 17, 2024, by Portland Fire & Rescue showing a tree branch that downed a power line, resulting in three fatalities when it fell on a vehicle and the occupants attempted to exit.

Graves explained the tragic mechanics of the accident, noting how the victims became part of an active electrical circuit upon touching the ground while still in contact with the car. A two-year-old child, also involved in the incident, was fortunately rescued and taken to a hospital. Thankfully, the child is in good condition.

In a remarkable act of bravery, a neighbor, upon witnessing the horrific scene, rushed to save the toddler from one of the victims’ arms. Her courageous act, driven by an instinct to protect the child, was a glimmer of humanity amidst the tragedy.

Milwaukie High School mourns the loss of one of their sophomores involved in the accident. The exact relationship among the individuals and whether they were parked or attempting to leave at the time of the accident remains unclear.

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This incident adds to a series of fatalities in the Portland metro area attributed to severe winter weather conditions. Since Friday, at least ten people have perished, with causes ranging from hypothermia to accidents involving fallen trees and power lines. Among these, a person died in Southeast Portland when a tree fell on an RV, and another in Lake Oswego due to a tree collapsing onto a house.

This series of events serves as a solemn reminder of the dangers posed by extreme weather, underscoring the need for heightened awareness and safety during such times. The community is left to mourn the loss and grapple with the aftermath of these tragic occurrences.

In the wake of the tragic incident in Portland, it's crucial to highlight the importance of staying inside the vehicle in such situations. Experts emphasize that in the event a live power line falls on your car, the safest action is to remain inside.

The reason for this safety measure lies in the construction of the vehicle itself. The tires, made of rubber, act as insulators. This means they can prevent the electrical current from the power line from grounding through the vehicle and potentially harming its occupants. By staying inside the car, you are essentially in a less conductive space, reducing the risk of electrical shock.

In contrast, stepping out of the vehicle in such circumstances can create a path for the electrical current to travel from the car, through your body, and into the ground, leading to severe injury or even fatality. It's a natural instinct to want to leave a vehicle in distress, but in cases involving power lines, staying put is the safer option.

If you find yourself in this situation, it's advised to call emergency services immediately and wait for professionals to safely handle the situation. They are trained to deal with such hazards and can ensure that the power line is de-energized and removed safely before anyone exits the vehicle.

This safety advice underscores the importance of understanding how to react in emergencies involving electricity. Awareness and adherence to these guidelines can be lifesaving in critical situations like the one witnessed in Portland.

(Source: KGW Staff, KGW.com)

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Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.