A New Jersey woman was electrocuted after power lines fell on her car during a storm and she tried to get out.
Susan Potok, 26, stopped after seeing a tree fall into the road in Fanwood, New Jersey, but then a power line fell onto her car, WCBS reported.
Potok tried to get out of the car, with fatal results.
“I saw this car, this white car, and the body next to the car,” witness Gary Gurzo told WCBS.
“The line was on the driver’s side, and she wanted to escape from the passenger’s side,” Gurzo added. “As soon as she stepped out of the car, she was electrocuted because the wire was hanging in the puddle next to the car.”
Witnesses said rescuers attempted to reach the woman for some time before she stepped out.
“I’m so sorry I can’t help. I can’t help,” Eliberia Delgadillo, who was driving the vehicle behind Potok’s, said.
“We saw that the terrible storm was hitting and then we saw that the tree fell… there was a wire that fell from the top and it fell on top of the car,” Camila Chacha, Delgadillo’s daughter, added.
The storm caused considerable damage across New Jersey on July 18.
Power company PSE&G stressed that if anyone finds themselves in a similar situation to Potok's, the best course of action is to remain in the vehicle. This is because electricity seeks the quickest route to the ground.
“If you remain in the vehicle, the path of the electricity will be on the outside of the vehicle, through the tires, and into the ground," the power company explains. "As long as we do not provide a path to the ground through our body, the electricity will not enter it. So when an electrical wire falls on your vehicle, stay in your vehicle until help arrives and the power is shut off.”
If it is absolutely necessary to leave the vehicle, because of an emergency or a fire, experts advise people to jump out so as to make sure no part of the body is in contact with the vehicle when the feet touch the ground.
In addition, motorists are warned that the ground around a vehicle with a wire on it will also be electrified, which is why it is necessary to jump.