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Dec 20, 2017

Death by electrocution after high-tension wire interrupts tree cutting

Hugo Polanco

There was a freak accident in Independence on Tuesday evening, when a man who was cutting down a few limbs from an almond tree was suddenly electrocuted.  Hugo Polanco was operating a chainsaw as he was cutting off several branches from the tree, when he accidentally made contact with a high-tension wire.  The intense electrical shock from the power line flung Polanco approximately six or seven feet from where he was standing onto the ground below.  Despite an attempt to rush him to the Independence Polyclinic, he would be pronounced dead a short time later.  According to Polanco’s relatives, he received massive burns on the left hand where it is believed that the flow of electricity entered his body.

 

On the phone: Eden Castaneda, Relative of Deceased

“As far as I know, what I heard from the person that informed me through the phone [is] that Mr. Polanco had suffered an accident that caused his death, is that they were cutting limbs from an almond tree near light post.  They were using a chainsaw to cut the limbs and while doing that Mr. Polanco accidentally, it is believed, cut a limb and the limb crashed on the wires.  So a discharge of electricity caught him and hit him to death, you know.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I gather that he fell from where he was, in terms of where he was standing to cut the tree.  Is this from a great height?  How tall was the tree, more or less?”

 

On the Phone: Eden Castaneda

On the Phone: Eden Castaneda

“Based on an estimate, because I was there and I went where the accident actually happened, based on an estimate, I believe it’s six to seven feet high and that when he was electrocuted is when he dropped to the ground.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“There is an allegation being made, I’m not sure if you have heard the same thing, that Mr. Polanco was at a bar and apparently drinks were being offered for these men to fell the tree that was nearby.  Can you confirm if you’ve heard the same thing?”

 

On the Phone: Eden Castaneda

“I cannot confirm that as certain because I was not there and the person that told me, he didn’t mention anything about that apart from [the fact that] they were cutting these leaves, you know, and the limbs from the trees.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“As far as you know, was anyone else injured in this particular accident?”

 

On the Phone: Eden Castaneda

No.  Only he.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“So I also understand that he was immediately rushed to the Independence Polyclinic but he died on arrival.  Can you explain to us the extent of his injuries?”

 

On the Phone: Eden Castaneda

“Okay, the injuries that I managed to see on the body is a burn on the left hand where, according to an electrician, electricity went through there and a burn on the big toe of the foot, that would be the left foot.  So the electrician explained that the electricity went through the left hand and went out through the left toe.  And then I cannot certify that, apart from what I heard is that the doctor at the hospital confirmed his death.  So I’m not sure if he died on the spot or if he was, he died by the hospital.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Is Mr. Polanco a resident of Independence or is he from elsewhere?”

 

On the Phone: Eden Castaneda

“No, he is a resident from here.  He has been living [here] for probably more than a year.”

 

Polanco’s body has been transported to Duck Run, where he is originally from, to be buried on Friday.

 

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