Family seeks answers in wake of power line accident

Harrison Mills woman suffered severe burns, while two of her dogs were killed in bizarre accident

The Harrison Mills woman who was badly burned by electricity last weekend is in stable condition in hospital, according to a family member.

The woman was walking with her dogs in her rural community last Sunday, when they walked near a low-hanging, live hydro line. The two dogs were killed and the woman’s body caught fire. She managed to yell for help, attracting the attention of campers in the nearby Kilby Campground.

The woman has now lost both her arms, undergone numerous skin graphs, and faces years of rehabilitation, said her sister Laura Nichols, who lives in Chilliwack.

With her sister still unable to communicate, it’s been difficult to piece together what happened that day. Her family is also trying to find some clarity among a common held belief that BC Hydro was informed of the damaged hydro line. It had been swaying about two feet from the ground in a harvested corn field since the massive windstorm that hit the area over the Thanksgiving weekend.

It’s a small community, with only a handful of houses, but Nichols notes that the Kilby campground and historic site nearby are busy areas.

BC Hydro has stated that they did not know there was a power line down in the area, and would have fixed it immediately as per their protocol. Neighbours in the area say the power line feeds a pumphouse managed by the District of Kent.

“The whole neighbourhood is fantastic,” Nichols said. “I’ve spoken to every one of them. But we need to know if the call was made.”

She is hoping anyone with more information about the incident that day, or in the days leading up to it, will contact the RCMP.

And she hopes people will hear the story and remember not to assume that someone else has made an important safety call.

“You should always go a bit further,” she said, when you notice something unsafe.

Kent’s mayor, John Van Laerhoven, said that he has spoken with the woman’s family and relayed all the information they have at this time. He said the District’s staff was unaware there was a problem with the power line prior to this incident.

He said the District of Kent, which stretches from the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge, to Harrison Mills, and north of Harrison Hot Springs, is too large to check on all areas after storms.

“I don’t think we have the staff to drive down every road, and drive every dike,” he said.

He added that in the event that anyone sees a downed power line, they should report it to BC Hydro immediately.

“It’s a Hydro issue,” he said. “We don’t know anything other than that, that it went down and Hydro is saying they weren’t called.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Development on the horizon for Harrison Hot Springs Marina

The property has been the subject of a number development proposals over the years

Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

An Affair of Honour is based on a true story, written by the father of a Chilliwack man

‘Big hearts and even bigger feet’: Comedian sends Harrison humour to the silver screen

Jonny Harris will see the town highlighted on his small-town comedy series ‘Still Standing’

More staff being hired at Fraser Valley seniors homes

Number of care hours for residents lags behind provincial targets

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read