A woman and her dog died Wednesday when they were electrocuted by a downed power line in a rural California neighborhood.
Madeline Kelly, 34, of the Fresno County town of Mendota, was walking with the dog and a human companion before dawn and apparently did not see the hazard when she stepped on it around 5 a.m., KMPH-TV reported.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office reported there had been a fire in the area on Monday, which evidently weakened the power pole that held the line.
The line fell sometime later, creating the hazard that the unsuspecting walkers encountered.
Emergency responders attempted unsuccessfully to revive her, KMPH reported.
KSEE-TV reported that the fire department that extinguished Monday’s vegetation fire did not alert the power company, Pacific Gas and Electric, because the power lines did not appear to be affected by the incident.
A PG&E statement provided to KSEE said, “We are working with first responders to investigate the circumstances of the tragic accident in Mendota this week.”
The utility company added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted.”
Kelly’s mother, Melissa Rust, told the news outlet that the incident was “a wrongful death.”
“It was a wrong way to die,” Rust said. “She had a lot of life left to go. The fact that someone may have been negligent that caused her death, you know, it breaks my heart.”
In a GoFundMe appeal she set up to help raise funeral expenses, Rust called the loss “incredibly sudden and horrifically shocking.”
“Her life was cut short too soon,” she lamented.
Rust told KSEE her daughter was “intelligent and kind and artistic and loving.”
“And she liked to laugh,” she added.
They advised calling 911 right away to report a downed line, and to keep children and pets away.
The utility company warned that it’s unsafe to touch the line, even with a stick, broom or pole.
“Avoid touching anything, such as a car, object or equipment, or anyone who is in contact with a fallen power line,” the company recommended.
They also advised against driving over a fallen power line.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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