Jake Hourmouzus Dixon: 17-Year-Old Jake Hourmouzus and Jacob Schneider Died In Bridge Electrocution Accident While Trying To Rescue Dog That Had Fallen Into Dixon Canal
DIXON, CALIFORNIA (March 3, 2019) – A 17-year-old boy identified as Jake Hourmouzus is being called a hero after he and Jacob Schneider died from electrocution after touching a bridge overlooking a canal.
Jake Hourmouzus was walking with Jacob Schneider and a group of friends along West Dixon Road not far from the canal. They were walking with a dog when it fell in the water.
One of the boys attempted to rescue the dog but was electrocuted after touching the bridge railing. Jake Hourmouzus sprung into action to help his friend when he was electrocuted as well.
A third boy was able to free them, but for Jake Hourmouzus and Jacob Schneider it was too late. Both victims died after being electrocuted from the bridge railing.
The Solano County Sheriff’s Office said that the bridge was being electrocuted for some reason. Candy Carrillo is the mother of Jake Hourmouzus and now wonders if more could have been done to keep her son safe.
Brannon Hourmouzus and family and friends of the two boys gathered at Hall Park in Dixon in order to remember the victims. An investigation into the cause of the accident that killed Jake Hourmouzus and Jacob Schneider remains ongoing.
Causes of Electrocution Accidents
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrocutions are part of the “Fatal Four” safety hazards that make up the majority of workplace deaths every year. They write, “Electricity flows through conductors like wires and power lines to create a path or complete a circuit. The human body acts as a conductor when they come into contact with an electrical current due to things like exposed electrical wires or damaged equipment.” Electrocution may also occur when equipment, bridges or poles become energized from coming into contact with an electric source.
Many Hollywood films depict electric wires dancing wildly or shooting off sparks. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There may be no visible outward signs that a wire or piece of equipment has become energized. As such, it is important for construction companies and cities to take steps to prevent electrocutions. Here are just a few of the ways that electrocution accidents can be prevented:
- Safety Perimeters: The first line of defense to keeping children and other pedestrians safe from electrocutions are fences. Dangerous areas should be blocked off to prevent victims from coming into contact with power lines or energized equipment.
- Warning Signs: Signs warning pedestrians of electrified equipment are important at preventing accidents. There may be no visible outward signs that a bridge, railing or wire are electrocuted. Adequate signs warning about the dangers of such equipment are therefore important.
- Ground-Fault Protection: According to OSHA, “Receptacle outlets that are not part of the permanent wiring of the structure must be protected with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).” These devices monitor electrical flow and cut off electricity when they detect an imbalance.
There are a number of injuries associated with electrocution accidents including burns, orthopedic injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, amputations, bone fractures and death. Depending on the facts of any case there may be numerous sources of liability for an electrocution accident.
Liability In Electrocution Accidents
Cities and companies in California have a legal responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe. According to the California Civil Code § 1714 subsection (a), “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” This includes measures to prevent electrocution accidents.
Electrical wires have been called “silent killers” for good reason. Victim’s typically don’t even realize that a wire or structure is electrified until its too late. A wire the size of a headphone cable can deliver enough power to paralyze and kill a person before they are able to save them-self. When a city or company fails to take measures to prevent electrocution accidents, they may face civil liability if someone is injured or killed. In order to prove that a defendant was negligent a plaintiff must demonstrate that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. Establishing a duty of care in a premises liability case will involve a number of factors (e.g., the status of the plaintiff – guest, business patron or trespasser).
- The defendant breached their duty of care.
- The defendant’s action – or lack thereof – was the cause-in-fact of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The defendant’s action – or lack thereof – was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the plaintiff’s negligence.
The family of a victim that dies in an electrocution accident may have legal recourse under California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages can include compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, lost income and loss of love. A premises liability attorney can investigate your claim free of charge and let you know what your options are. An attorney can take steps to make sure that your rights are being protected, that evidence is being preserved and that cities are held accountable for their negligence.
Investigating An Electrocution Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the families of Jake Hourmouzus and Jacob Schneider. It is our sincere hope that the city of Dixon and Solano County will take measures to prevent additional accidents. This bridge was a death trap and an accident waiting to happen. It should have been guarded off by sturdy fences. If measures are not taken to correct this problem, this tragedy may happen all over again.
If you or someone that you love has been involved in an electrocution accident there are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you have. We can investigate all aspects of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what happened. We care deeply that cities take accountability for their negligence and that they are working towards safety measures to prevent future tragedies. Whether you just have questions about your rights or are looking to get more information about an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.