Father, son rescued after Linden crash leaves live wires on car

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Anthony Johnson has the latest details.

A man and his young son needed to be rescued after a crash in New Jersey Tuesday morning downed a utility pole and left live wires resting on the car.

The incident happened at East St. George's and Chandler Avenue in Linden around 9 a.m.

Authorities say the driver of a Nissan Altima lost control of the car and collided with the pole.

The pole broke during the crash, causing the wires to fall on top of the vehicle, leaving the 46-year-old driver and his 6-year-old son trapped inside for about 45 minutes.

Emergency crews responded and told them to stay in the car until PSE&G was able to cut power.

Both were removed safely without any injuries, and they refused medical treatment.
The cause of accident is unknown, but the roadway was wet.

One business was without power, and East St. George's Avenue was closed while repairs were made.

During the incident a transformer exploded, causing a small electrical fire that was quickly extinguished by Linden firefighters.

PSE&G offers the following tips regarding downed power lines:

Wires installed on utility poles carry electricity. And when wires are down, they are dangerous-electricity can still flow through them. Never assume that a downed power line is not energized, as it still could be live.

TO REPORT A DOWNED WIRE: Call 1-800-436-PSEG and tell PSE&G the nearest cross street or the number of a nearby pole that has not been damaged and is away from any downed wires. The pole number can be found on the metal tag attached to the pole.

The bottom line: Never go near or touch an electrical wire. Never go near or touch anything or anyone that has come in contact with an electrical wire.

--Stay at least 300 feet away from all downed wires--and keep others from going near them as well. Call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734 or the police or fire department immediately.

--Any wire on the ground or hanging from a pole must be considered live. Telephone and cable TV wires may be entangled with electric wires and must also be treated as live.

--Be especially careful when driving or parking a vehicle near downed wires. If downed wires are in the street, near the curb, or on the sidewalk, use extreme caution. Never drive over downed power lines. Even if not energized, they can become entangled in your vehicle.

--In the event that a wire comes down on a vehicle with passengers, our advice is to stay in the vehicle until professional help arrives to safely remove you from the vehicle. If you MUST get out of the vehicle because of fire or other life-threatening hazards, jump clear of the vehicle so that you do not touch any part of the car and the ground at the same time. Jump as far as possible away from the vehicle with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. Once you clear the vehicle, shuffle away, with both feet on the ground, or hop away, with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. Do not run away from the vehicle as the electricity forms rings of different voltages. Running may cause your legs to "bridge" current from a higher ring to a lower voltage ring. This could result in a shock. Get a safe distance away.

--Never use water on an electric fire, burning vehicle or wire, or extend a pole or stick that can create a path through which the electricity can travel. Our human instinct is to reach out to help, but touching an individual who has been energized also provides a path through which electricity can travel. Call 911 for help immediately.

--Do not attempt to cut or remove a tree that is, or could become, entangled with power lines. Contact PSE&G for assistance and wait for a professional tree removal crew to do the job.

--Look up! Always examine your surroundings for power line locations before doing any outside work.

--Do not throw objects up into power lines, as this can cause short circuits that could result in injuries. This includes items you might not consider conductive, such as ropes and strings.

--Teach children never to play around electric equipment and never to touch power lines. They could be seriously injured or killed if they touch live electrical equipment.

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