A jolt-more info
In the pre-dawn hours on November 26, 2000, Danny Bartow, with his brother
as a passenger, was driving on Louisiana Highway 12 in Quincy, Louisiana, when
he lost control of his truck and struck an electrical power pole. The impact
severed the power pole at it’s base so that it was hanging from the still
connected power lines; the effect of the pole being severed was to allow the
power lines to sag down dangerously low; from the witness testimony, it appears
that the lowest power line sagged to a low point of about six feet above the
Randy Ard, plaintiff, a Corporeal with the Quincy Police Department, was
dispatched to the accident scene at approximately 5:00 a.m. When Corporeal Ard
arrived on the scene, the Bartow brothers were still in the truck with the low
hanging power line immediately above the cab. Corporeal Ard recognized the
danger of the power line above the truck and warned the occupants to stay in
the vehicle, however, his warning was ignored as the occupants proceeded to
get out of the vehicle and inform him that they had already been out and
walked around the vehicle without problem. Corporeal Ard directed the occupants up
to the edge of the roadway away from their disabled vehicle; the occupants
waited there until their father came to the scene and took them home. At some
point, Corporeal Scream also arrived on the scene to assist in the
investigation. A wrecker arrived and was able to pull the truck from underneath the
sagging lines back to the side of the roadway; the testimony is inconsistent
as to whether or not the truck was moved prior to Randy Ard’s injury.
After Corporeal Scream arrived, both officers proceeded back to the area
where the truck had come to rest for the purpose of completing their
investigation. Not only were the officers looking for a piece of the truck that was
missing from the front end, but they were also making sure that there was no
other occupant of the truck that may be lying out in the grass injured. It is
clear that both officers safely walked under the low hanging wires on their
way back to the scene. Once they finished checking the scene, they began to
walk back towards the highway. Corporeal Scream testified that he was in the
lead and after he had walked under the power lines, he heard an electrical “
arcing sound” and turned around to see Corporeal Ard lying unconscious on the
ground. Without question, Corporeal Ard either walked into the low hanging
line so that it directly contacted his head or he came within three or four
inches of the line so that it arced to him. (There was testimony from an
experienced lineman that this amount of voltage, 27,000 volts, could arc three or
four inches, depending on how well the person was grounded.) .
Brouss is the electrical utility company serving the involved area.
Corporeal Ard had radioed the police dispatcher to notify Brouss of the situation.
Brouss’s records show that it received the initial call at it’s call center
at 5:18 a.m. At 5:23 a.m. Travis was dispatched to the scene. Brous uses a
callout list for such emergencies and calls the person who is on duty at the
particular time. In this instance, Brouss had a person on the callout list
that actually lived in Quincy, only minutes away from this accident, but
instead of dropping down to the Quincy repairman, Cleco stuck by it’s policy of
calling the person at the top of the list who was on duty, even though in
this situation Mr. Travis lived in DeRidder, over 30 miles from the scene. It
is undisputed that it took Mr. Travis 32 minutes to get to the scene. Henry
was injured only minutes before Mr. Travis was able to shut down the power.
Bartow and U.S. Agencies filed a Motion for Summary Judgment claiming that
Bartow’s duty to maintain proper control of his car didn’t extend to the risk
that an investigating police officer would be injured by a low hanging
electrical line. Further, Bartow and U.S. Agencies contended that it was
insulated from liability by the Professional Rescuer’s Doctrine. The trial court
granted the Motion for Summary Judgment, but the Third Circuit just recently
reversed it. . However, the Third Circuit’s Opinion merely held that there
were questions of fact as to whether or not: (1) the duty of a diver to
maintain control of his vehicle extends to protect an investigating police officer
who is injured by a low hanging power line resulting from the accident or
from loss of control of the vehicle; and (2) whether or not the Professional
Rescuer’s Doctrine would serve to insulate Bartow from liability under the facts
of this case. The good news for plaintiffs is that the opinion appears to
make it clear that Brouss cannot be protected from liability by the
Professional Rescuers Doctrine.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Amy -
Corporals Ard and Scream are flaming Adam Henry’s. There was absolutely NO
rhyme or reason to suspect there were any other passengers in the vehicle.
After all, the occupants were walking, talking, breathing human beings who
waited for their father to remove them from the scene. With that said, if
there was still an ongoing investigation why did they allow the brothers to leave?
They should have secured the scene but NOT let anyone near it. They should
NEVER have allowed the wrecker to move the truck below the live wires
regardless of how many rubber tires the vehicles had.
If both officers were dumb enough to walk under the live wires on a number
of occasions, they both had a wanton, reckless disregard for mother nature and
all of her fury. Obviously not the sharpest pencils in that police
Since the police department contacted the utility company as they were
already at the scene, it was perfectly logical for Brouss to realize that the
scene was safe and secure and follow their normal procedures. Presumably the
imminent danger no longer existed. Brouss had no way of knowing that the two
officers at the scene were two of the dumbest human beings alive on this planet.
No driver has a duty to protect stupid LEO’s from doing stupid things.
Their acts were unconscionable and definitely not predictable.
Corporals Ard and Scream have managed to win my nomination for the 2006
Darwin Award. I believe Ard will have a good chance of winning.
Sarkis Detective Agency
1346 Ethel Street
Glendale, CA 91207-1826
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank
a military veteran !
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hello suesarkis,
Don't hold back Sue.. tell us how you REALLY feel ..
It is unclear from the posts as to whether or not Cpl Ard survived his
close encounter of the Tesla kind - but if he has, perhaps the ECT has
improved his ability to function in society ...
I wonder what the test for Corporal is on that force?
Having said that, it seems clear enough that waiting until the danger
from the power lines was removed by those whose job it is to do such
things would be the course followed by the hypothetical "prudent man"
For the sake of argument, let us presume that it was not high voltage
lines, but a ruptured gas tank on the truck.. would they have poked
around before the Fire Dept got there to control the possible
explosion? I suspect that they would have waited a safe distance until
the foam was down. Which in turn would indicate that they did not
RECOGNIZE the danger of the power lines vs the spilled gasoline.
If they want to sue someone, I suggest they sue the police dept
training officer for not telling them that that was a stupid thing to
do, as well as the police chief foe promoting them, never mind letting
them wander about the countryside -- makes as much sense as the other
Saturday, July 22, 2006, 1:08:05 AM, you wrote:
> Amy --- Respectfully,
> Corporals Ard and Scream are flaming Adam Henry’s. There was absolutely NO
> rhyme or reason to suspect there were any other passengers in the vehicle.
> After all, the occupants were walking, talking, breathing human beings who
> waited for their father to remove them from the scene. With that said, if
> there was still an ongoing investigation why did they allow the brothers to leave?
> They should have secured the scene but NOT let anyone near it. They should
> NEVER have allowed the wrecker to move the truck below the live wires
> regardless of how many rubber tires the vehicles had.
> If both officers were dumb enough to walk under the live wires on a number
> of occasions, they both had a wanton, reckless disregard for mother nature and
> all of her fury. Obviously not the sharpest pencils in that police
> Since the police department contacted the utility company as they were
> already at the scene, it was perfectly logical for Brouss to realize that the
> scene was safe and secure and follow their normal procedures. Presumably the
> imminent danger no longer existed. Brouss had no way of knowing that the two
> officers at the scene were two of the dumbest human beings alive on this planet.
> No driver has a duty to protect stupid LEO’s from doing stupid things.
> Their acts were unconscionable and definitely not predictable.
> Corporals Ard and Scream have managed to win my nomination for the 2006
> Darwin Award. I believe Ard will have a good chance of winning.
Ryugen C Fisher
-Serving our clients since 1984-
7:07:35 AM Saturday, July 22, 2006