LA police confirmed that last night's crash in Valley Village is being investigated as a reckless driving case. Witnesses said they believed two cars were speeding along Magnolia Boulevard at Ben Avenue when the crash occurred. Two women who rushed to help the driver of the car that sheared off a fire hyrdrant were electrocuted, and at least six other people who tried to help were treated for electric shocks.
The LAFD explains what happened this way:
Los Angeles Firefighters arrived to find the SUV stopped on the lawn of a residence. A fire hydrant approximately 10 feet behind it, was shooting water into the sky. The water quickly began to pool. Underneath the vehicle was an old fashioned concrete light standard, leaving behind electrical wires sticking out of the ground. The wires were disguised by darkness, running water, and the commotion of a growing crowd.
Neighbors were startled after hearing the crash and came running out their homes to help. They were met by other concerned citizens whom stopped their cars. Sadly, two of these well intentioned people, stepped into water that was unknowingly energized and were killed. Others followed suit, and were injured.
Fortunately, as firefighters rushed to help the motionless victims on the ground, their keen sense of safety along with warning of bystanders, stopped them stepping into the energized water, and becoming victims themselves. Rather, they quickly utilized rubber gauntlet gloves and a long pike pole to safely remove the victims, then rendered aggressive medical aid. Additional firefighters were immediately requested, and a total of 55 firefighters, all under the command of Battalion Chief Daniel McCarty, assisted in securing the area, shutting down the water flow, and treating the remaining patients.
The women who died were identified as Irma Zamora, of Burbank, and Stacey Schreiber, who lived near the accident scene. Mayor Villaraigosa and other officials went to the scene today to praise the actions of the Good Samaritans and to caution about safety around electricity.
From Channel 2:
CBS 2 screen grab