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

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Most Read