ATHERTON (CBS SF) — The entire power grid for parts of two South Bay cities was shut down Sunday morning to save the lives of two people trapped in a car in Atherton with live electrical wires on the hood, fire officials said today.
A car crashed in front of 240 Camino Al Lago around 3:30 a.m., toppling a power pole and slamming into a tree, according to Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman.
The vehicle was pinned against the tree with two people trapped inside as wires from a transformer on the power pole sparked and arced on the car’s hood, Schapelhouman said.
Firefighters labored to get the occupants, two men in their twenties, out of the blue Lexus four-door sedan, but the sparking power lines hampered their efforts. The men were conscious and able to talk to the firefighters, Schapelhouman said.
The firefighters called Pacific Gas and Electric but learned it would take 45 minutes for workers to arrive, and the lives of the two men hung in the balance, according to Schapelhouman.
With time of the essence, PG&E shut down the local power grid to portions of Atherton and West Menlo Park in order to de-energize the live electrical wires on the car’s hood, Schapelhouman said.
The grid shut down around 4:10 a.m., and the crew used the Jaws of Life to cut apart the vehicle and rescue the two men.
Both men were taken to Stanford Trauma Center after being treated for their injuries by firefighter-paramedics around 4:35 a.m. Their condition is not known at this time.
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