Driver suffers electrical burns from downed power lines

GUELPH-ERAMOSA – A driver from Orangeville was sent to hospital with electrical burns following a collision with a hydro pole here on the weekend.

On Oct. 27 at about 11am emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle crash on Wellington Road 29, south of Wellington Road 124 near Guelph Lake.

“Initial reports indicated that a silver sedan had lost control and struck a hydro pole causing electrical lines to fall across the road,” stated a Wellington County OPP a press release.

“The driver received electric-burn injuries when they exited the vehicle.”

The 20-year-old driver from Orangeville was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The road was closed for about five hours.

Police say the cause of the collision is being investigated and witnesses can call 1-888-310-1122.

What to do

Many experts say that in such collisions, the safest place is often inside the car.

When hydro lines are knocked down, the area around the vehicle may be charged with electric energy, which could lead to electrocution for anyone that exits or approaches the vehicle.

According to, downed lines can show they are live by arcing and sparking, but this is not always the case.

“Stay in the car if you are in a car accident with a power pole,” the website states.

“Warn those who try to come near your car to help that they must stay far away. Call 911 for help, and wait until a professional from the electric utility tells you it is safe to leave the car.”

The exception, of course, is if the vehicle is on fire.

“In that case, jump clear of the vehicle without touching it and the ground at the same time,” states

“Then hop away with feet together. This way there will not be a voltage difference between your two feet, which would give electricity the chance to flow through your body.”