Irma Zamora's husband told her not to get out of the car as they approached a traffic accident Wednesday, but she insisted on running across the street to help the injured, the Los Angeles Times reports.
An SUV, believed to be speeding, had lost control on a turn in Valley Village and ran into a fire hydrant and light pole, downing live wires that sent electric currents through the gathering water. As Zamora, 40, stepped into the electrified water, she was fatally electrocuted by an estimated 4,800 volts of electricity.
"I saw her step into the water, her arms stiffened and she fell flat on her back, a witness told KTLA. "It felt like it was going in slow motion."
Zamora's husband ran to help his wife and was also shocked, though not as severely. Screaming, he had to be restrained from going into the water to save his wife.
Remarkably, there were six other Good Samaritans who also tried to help and were injured in the process. One of them, Gerome Glassman, recounted to KTLA, "We made an attempt to try to rescue the woman. So one by one, each of us got electrocuted. It threw me back... I landed on all fours."
One woman, Stacey Schreiber, 39, who lived in an apartment building right next to the crash, also ran right up to the water to help, NBC reports. That's when Glassman tried to stop her.
"I kept telling her, pleading with her, that stay back, it's a live wire," Glassman recalled. "She didn't hear me, and she dropped within seconds. There was nothing we could do," he said, fighting tears.
Rescue crews pulled the two women, who were lying on top of each other, from the water using a 6-foot pole with hooks and a handle that doesn't conduct electricity, the Times reports.
Los Angeles police are investigating the crash as possibly the result of street racing, CBS reports. Zamora's family released balloons at the crash site Thursday.
Zamora’s son David told CBS his mother died what she did best -- helping others. “I know she’s in a better place now,” he said, “and she’s a hero in everyone’s hearts.”
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