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#36198 - 03/31/04 09:41 AM Another winner of the Darwin award...
DougW Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Just read this at work. Hope you guys do too.

Tripping the light fantastic

Nov. 7th, 2003, Texas, USA

Houston Police and paramedics responded to an emergency report - a 30-year-old male was ‘down’ in the car park of a local cinema. Paramedics arrived and began administering CPR, but were unable to revive him.

“It was at this point we started to piece together his story from witnesses” a police source commented. “The man’s truck would not start, because his battery needed a jump-start. What could he do? He noticed he was conveniently parked next to a streetlight.

“With considerable ingenuity, the driver removed the service access panel from the bottom of the light pole, exposing the electrical wiring. He proceeded to pull the negative and positive wires from the pole, and removed the screw cap from the connection” he commented.

“He then connected his battery jumper cables to each of the wires, and picked up the now-live “business end” of the jumper cables to connect them to his truck battery. He didn’t even have time to wonder if the sequence was supposed to begin with black-to-negative or red-to-positive. The power traveled from one hand to the other via the shortest route - across his own chest. Witnesses say he was illuminated like a Christmas tree and the effect killed him instantly.

“That’s what happens when you try to jump start a 12-volt truck system with 480 volts of electricity.”

One of the emergency professionals on scene has the last word: “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you ain’t seen nothing!”

From FIRE & RESCUE magazine, January, 2004

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

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Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#36199 - 03/31/04 12:36 PM Re: Another winner of the Darwin award...
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
There’s a real electrical-safety lesson here. Had the wiring been brown/orange/yellow, he would have surely known that it was 480V, right? ;-) ;-) ;-)

#36200 - 03/31/04 01:01 PM Re: Another winner of the Darwin award...
BigJohn Offline

Registered: 03/06/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Boston, MA
These sure aren't like any light poles I've ever seen:
...He proceeded to pull the negative and positive wires from the pole....
Apparently these lights ran on direct current!

Man, what a mistake to make: I guess all 'lectricity ain't tha same!


[This message has been edited by BigJohn (edited 03-31-2004).]

#36201 - 03/31/04 03:09 PM Re: Another winner of the Darwin award...
chi spark Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 102
Loc: Chicago IL USA
"with considerable ingenuity"? that's not what I'd call it.
Truck for sale, customized paint job on hood and fender, needs repair,

#36202 - 04/01/04 08:30 AM Re: Another winner of the Darwin award...
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Must be the prototype for those "Quick-Boost" chargers.

What's also scary is that somebody this stupid had a license to drive....

#36203 - 04/01/04 10:33 AM Re: Another winner of the Darwin award...
Big A Offline

Registered: 01/22/03
Posts: 47
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
There are many stupid people with licenses, and they all live where I do.


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