Kentucky tourist dies after being electrocuted near Las Vegas Strip
August 19, 2003
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A tourist died after she was electrocuted near a Las Vegas Strip casino during a powerful weekend thunderstorm.
Rebecca Longhoffer, 39, of Louisville, Ky., was walking across a median near the Treasure Island hotel-casino Saturday about 9:30 p.m. when she stepped on a wet traffic signal wiring box and collapsed, authorities said.
Bystanders tried to revive Longhoffer but were unsuccessful. Longhoffer was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Clark County Public Works spokesman Bobby Shelton said a worn wire inside the traffic box may have caused the electrocution.
Las Vegas Lt. Chuck Mangrum said the victim was not wearing any shoes. The Clark County Coroner's Office has ruled Longhoffer's death an accident.
Longhoffer, a computer programmer and mother of four, was visiting Las Vegas with her fiance, who was playing in a billiards tournament. She was engaged to Clarence Andrew Martincic, 29, of Louisville.
Longhoffer's father, Russell Brooks, said the children had been told about their mother's death.
"They're doing as well as can be expected," he said. "It's tragic. Rebecca's mother died when she was 11. And now her son, Shelby, is 11."
Shelton said the county doesn't have the manpower to check every traffic box.
"We just don't have the manpower or the budget to take our maintenance workers off of their regular assignments to check every utility box," Shelton said.
Shelton advised people not to walk on the boxes.
"If people are walking in the rain and they see a metal lid under a puddle," he said. "They may want to avoid stepping on it."