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What to Do if you Run Over a Downed Power Line

On an April morning in 2016, Clint Shults was driving a school bus to take students to an FFA competition in Rangely, Colorado. The team’s horse judging coach, Silvia, followed the bus in her car. Heavy, wet snow had been accumulating, and the bus snagged a power line just as it was falling to the ground under the weight of the snow.

“We started dragging power lines for the next at least 100 yards, and knew we were in pretty tough shape,” Clint says. From behind the bus, Silvia witnessed several bursts of fire.

Fortunately, Clint, dispatch, and first responders knew the right steps to take to keep everyone safe. They are partnering with Safe Electricity’s “Teach Learn Care TLC” campaign so that others know how to stay safe if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

  • Stay calm, and stay inside the vehicle.
  • Call 911.
  • Warn others to stay away from the vehicle.
  • Stay seated, and do not exit the vehicle until utility personnel say it is okay to do so.
  • If you must exit the vehicle because it is on fire, jump clear of it with your feet together and without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time. Keeping your feet together, shuffle or “bunny hop” to safety.

Read more about drivinf safety at Safe Electricity