Recently, in San Mateo California a PG&E high voltage power line fell from a pole and onto a residential street, draping itself across the sidewalk and the street and private property, sparking and burning. When Enrique Tello, a local resident who had been watching television with his family heard the explosion and the lights went out, he went outside to investigate. Within moments, Mr. Tello was electrocuted.
Unfortunately, PG&E is trying to shift blame onto this 55-year-old man who was killed while trying to protect his family.
I am concerned that PG&E has already begun a campaign of misinformation about this San Mateo Electrocution, attempting to shift public focus from PG&E’s failure to maintain its equipment onto the conduct of the victim, Mr. Tello. The television and online media seem to be getting the whole story from a Mr. Guidi, who works for PG&E.
First of all, PG&E initially stated that the line was knocked down by a mylar balloon. PG&E has since recanted that statement. How would a power line carrying 12,000 volts, which could conceivably burn down an entire neighborhood, be vulnerable to a balloon? Secondly, I have watched the videos on the news and no witness has actually said that they personally saw the victim, Mr. Tello, pick up the hot wire.
This wire was a 12,000 volt wire and was hot enough to melt the pavement into glass. Is it even plausible that Mr. Tello actually picked up the wire as stated? PG&E originally stated that Mr. Tello was driving his truck and was blocked by the live wire, and that he got out of the truck and tried to move the wire. PG&E even went onto the news lecturing about the danger of trying to move a live wire. In a Daily Post article, PG&E admits that a person could be electrocuted just walking in the area of a downed power line.
I personally would like to see some responsible journalism following thorough this investigation. So far, all of the news stories seem to be parroting the same PG&E party line.
If we look at the photo of the truck in the linked article, it is clear that the white truck is parked at the curb. Mr. Tello’s niece says that he was home watching television, not driving the truck. Why would Mr. Guidi state to the news that the victim, Mr. Tello was driving the truck and that he had tried to move the wire from the road, when Mr. Tello lives right where his truck is parked?
PG&E wants to shift the public’s focus from their own culpability onto Mr. Tello’s conduct. If PG&E can keep the focus on what the victim did, they might be able to deflect inquiry as to why this heavy duty live wire fell and was laying across the street sparking and burning and killing in a residential neighborhood.
Shouldn’t we as responsible citizens be demanding a real investigation into how and why this deadly power line fell into a residential neighborhood and endangered an entire neighborhood?
Enough misinformation. I would like answers. Please comment if you would like answers also.
About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate dedicated to keeping San Francisco Bay Area individuals safe from defective and dangerous equipment and products. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a Bay Area personal injury lawyer, has fought to protect the rights of the injured throughout his legal career.