3 Family Members Electrocuted By Downed Power Line In Their Backyard

SAN BERNARDINO (AP)— Three people have been electrocuted in the backyard of a San Bernardino home.

Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says the coroner has been called to a home on Acacia Avenue in the Northpark area of the city.

She says three people are dead.

Police Sgt. John Diaz says the deaths were reported at around 5:45 a.m. Friday.

Diaz tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the three may have been shocked while investigating the explosion of an electrical transformer.

The coroner has identified the dead as a couple and their son.

Steven Vego, 43, his wife Susan and their 21-year-old son Jonathan Cole were all killed.

Officials believe the downed power line might have started a fire in the backyard and Vego was killed when he went to investigate. Police believe his wife and son were killed trying to help him.

Neighbors told KCAL 9 that this wasn’t the first time power lines came down in the area.

Steven Vego’s brother, Frank, said power lines fell in the backyard once before. And he angrily asked this morning, “How can this happen a second time?”

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Josh Butts

    Umm, maybe one person touched the transformer and got electrocuted and the other tried to grab him and he got electrocuted and something with the last. You don’t want to mess with those transformers.

  • mister s

    Not sure how it happened, but its not like the movies. If 1 guy touched the transformer or any live wire…. he would be dead instantly, and it would be apparent. I don’t think anyone would try to grab him. Maybe the 3 were standing close together and an arc took all 3 out. Find some videos of stuff like that, electricity is far more powerful than some people realize.

  • Greg

    I wish I could say I am surprised that such a terrible tragedy could happen, but I am not. I live in the mountains in San Bernardino County. We lose our power up here frequently, but I seemed to lose power for a moment or so so often that I called SCE to report my concerns. I was worried that there may be a connection problem between my house and the pole. Given the severe fire danger in the mountains, I thought that my concerns would be taken seriously. SCE refused to send anyone out to look at the situation. They suggested that, if there was a fire, I should call 911.

  • Ethics 101

    I use to work for Edison and know firsthand that alot of the electrical equipment within Edison’s districts are faulty and unkept. I use to see numerous transformers barely hanging on the poles – in backyards and streets, and immediately reported them to management when they were a critical and potential threat to the public. However, Edison’s Managers didn’t like to hear that these problems exist because it affects bottom line corporate profits and bonuses. Furthermore, Edison shows several expensive commercials on a daily basis to portray a campaign on how “ethical” and “dedicated” the company is to Southern California, yet, they don’t want the public to know these problems. I recall they use to carefully remind us how to “talk” to the public and not “alarm” those who were the potential threat area. Now, a family is devistated, and the Ethics of a company’s practices are taking the front seat. Clearly, the CPUC should audit Edison’s practices, ethics, and poor upkeep of electrical equipment.

  • Elayne D

    I’m a neighbor that live on 54th street across from where the accident happened. I saw the transformer explode and was afraid that we were getting ready to experience an out of control fire. I saw what I believed was smoke from a tree which could have been smoke from the bodies. It was very scary experience. I really didn’t know what was going on. I saw the fire truck and the parimedic come and then that is when the second explosion happened with the transformer on 54th. It was just scary.

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