Santa Barbara- S County

Man electrocuted after falling tree hits power lines

Over 200 residents lose power

Man electrocuted by fallen power lines

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A man is in critical condition after he was electrocuted by a downed power line in Santa Barbara.

It happened on San Pascual Street and Sutton Avenue just after midnight Tuesday. Part of a massive ficus tree fell and took down a power pole. The power pole and tree caught fire. Power lines were arcing on the ground. 

"We heard a huge bang, and saw flashing lights," said resident Amanda Schneiderman. "We knew where it was coming from."

Schneiderman was shooting video and taking pictures with her cell phone when she noticed someone was on the ground.

"It was a fight or flight moment. I wasn't concerned that I might be in harms way," she said. "Immediately, I knew I needed to get that guy out of there."

When Schneiderman reached the victim, he was unconscious. "He was convulsing," she said. "I checked his vitals, and checked to see if his eyes were dilated."

Schneiderman said she began to drag him out of the area to safety. Her boyfriend jumped in to help and they pulled the man to paramedics as they arrived on scene.

Santa Barbara City Firefighters said the man regained consciousness after receiving oxygen. He was able to talk. 

He was rushed to Cottage Hospital in critical condition. His identity has not been released, but he is described to be in his early 20's, according to Santa Barbara police.

Schneiderman said she is still thinking about him and hopes he's OK.

"Honestly, I'm just glad that I was there," she said. "I'm glad i saw him."

Firefighters said they believed the man was just walking down the street when he was electrocuted. But, they urged the public to stay away from downed power lines, at all costs until help arrives.

One nearby apartment was evacuated. The Red Cross is assisting displaced residents.

220 residents were without power, according to a Southern California Edison map.

Schneiderman said this incident wasn't the first time part of the tree came crashing down. On Sunday, during a powerful thunderstorm, a large branch snapped and landed on top of a car. Schneiderman said people were inside, but were not hurt.




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