HEMPFIELD (KDKA) — The family of a woman killed by a falling power line wants answers and is now suing the power company.
Carrie Goretzka of Irwin was killed when a power line fell in her yard, hitting her in June of 2009.
During the discovery phase of the lawsuit the family filed against Allegheny Energy, their attorney, Shanin Specter, says power company personnel and their trainers admitted they didn’t properly clean the wire.
“What will happen is over time, a wire that has oxides on it will permit arcing to occur,” Specter said. “Arcing will cause the line to overheat and eventually for the line to fail.”
Utility crews often use a wire brush to clean the lines, but Specter says they sometimes take shortcuts.
“Instead of using the brush, they would use nothing or they would use a knife or something else that would not be effective and that was contrary to the written instructions of Allegheny Energy,” Specter said.
Lawyers also say cleaning the lines can keep them from overheating, possibly preventing a tragedy like this one.