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19-year-old electrocuted after trespassing into power station

Teen life flighted to UC Davis Medical Center
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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A man was electrocuted by 60,000 volts of electricity after trespassing into the Oxbow Power Station around 1 a.m. Saturday. The 19-year-old from Foresthill was taken to UC Davis Medical Center via a life flight helicopter with severe burns, according to Gary Kirk, battalion chief for the Foresthill Fire Department, who responded to the incident. A second man, 19, of Foresthill, suffered a flash burn, while a third man, 19, of Foresthill, hit his head on a rock trying to escape, Kirk said. “The severity of the injuries I am not privileged to, but the most severe was flown to UC Davis (Medical Center),” Kirk said. “From what I’ve seen that is probably about a 12 to 14 foot high cyclone fence and everything is locked up. It is very secure, so I gather that the only way they could get in was to climb.” The power station, owned and operated by the Placer County Water Agency, is located near Mosquito Ridge Road and Blacksmith Flat Road. Oxbow is the last dam on the Middle Fork of the American River. Signs indicate it is a high-voltage area and trespassing is not allowed, according to water agency officials. Jay L’Estrange, director of power management for the agency, said it appears the three men climbed over the security fence, which is lined with barbed wire at the top. “Based on the evidence it looks like he climbed on top of our main power transformer in the Oxbow Switchyard,” L’Estrange said. “He got too close to the 60,000 volts there and was electrocuted.” L’Estrange said there was no evidence the men cut the fence or that there was an opening in it. “It is a tragic incident,” L’Estrange said. “We are certainly concerned about the young men that were injured and we hope they are going to be OK.” Lieutenant Andrew Scott with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said the names of the three victims would not be released at this time because they are considered victims and it has not yet been decided if criminal charges would be filed. “It will be reviewed, but there hasn’t been a decision whether charges will be filed,” Scott said. Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter at AJ_News.