Man finds himself in electrifying accident in Montebello

A Whittier man found himself in an highly charged predicament Tuesday morning when he crashed his pickup truck into a power pole and a fire hydrant.

For about an hour and 30 minutes, the man was trapped in his pickup truck in the 7600 block of Telegraph Road in Montebello as water from the hydrant rained down on the vehicle, according to Montebello Fire Battalion Chief Dan France. On top of the car were live wires, France said.

“Water and electricity don’t mix, as we all know,” France said. 

The call came in reporting a single vehicle traffic accident shortly before 6 a.m. and afterward was upgraded, France said. The man used a flashlight inside of the truck to signal to the firefighters that he was still inside.

Eventually they were able to reach the driver by cellphone, France said.

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“He said he was just shook up,” France said. “We assured him that we were going to get him out.”

Firefighters informed the driver that the water and electricity needed to be shut down before he could be rescued, France said. 

Because of the traffic snarl, it took a while to get Edison on scene, France said.

Once the power was turned off, the hydrant was shut down and firefighters rescued the man, who was treated at the scene. The accident is under investigation by the Montebello Police Department.

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“It was really fortunate that no one tried to get this gentleman out and he stayed in his vehicle and waited for emergency services to get to him,” France said. “This is a great public safety message ... if wires are down, stay away and call 911.”

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