17-year-old witnessed backyard electrocution of family members
A 17-year-old girl witnessed part of the electrocution of three family members, killed Friday morning by a fallen power line in their San Bernardino backyard, a fire captain said.
The girl told investigators that her stepfather, Steven Vego, 44, went to the backyard to inspect some small fires caused by the downed line and fanned by high winds, while her mother, Sharon Vego, 43, went to the frontyard to try to put out a possible fire there, officials said.
Investigators said they believe that Sharon Vego then heard a loud explosion from behind the house and hurried to the backyard, where she found her husband and son. They believe she was electrocuted as she tried to help them.
Firefighters found Sharon Vego on top of her son, Jonathan Cole, 21, and her husband lying nearby. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters had to wait about 15 minutes for Southern California Edison crews to arrive and cut power to the fallen line before they could reach the victims, said San Bernardino city Fire Dept. Capt. Mike Bilheimer.
The 17-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother were in the house, and the girl, who saw part of the accident, called 911 about 5:46 a.m., Bilheimer said.