Downed power lines trap people in vehicles - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Downed power lines trap people in vehicles

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Several people managed to escape injury after a lightning bolt brought down power lines and trapped them in their vehicles in Gainesville on Friday.

William Hampton was with his fiancé, who was driving, and with her father when the falling tree brought down a power pole and electricity lines on Green Street.

"We just saw a big blue flame come up and the tree hit us pretty good," Hampton said.

Hampton said they were trapped in the car with live wires all around them.  The driver of a truck, Darius Lajoie,  was also trapped by the wires.

"We probably could have made it out of the back seat but I didn't want to take any chances," Hampton said.

Lajoie said he was forced to make a quick decision after he saw fire in the back of his truck.

"That's all I saw. I saw a little flame coming up the back and I'm like, 'I'm out of here,'" said Lajoie.

Utility crews said the wires carry about 14,400 volts of electricity.

Lajoie said he realizes that he could have been severely injured or killed.

Power was cut off to the lines and firefighters extricated Hampton, his fiancé and her father out after about 30 minutes.

Crews continued to clear the scene as of late Friday.

Fire department officials remind people to stay inside of their vehicles when power lines are down.

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