Howard A. Rogers, 13, schoolboy, died attempting to save Richard W. Campbell, 6, from electric shock, Alameda, California, October 11, 1957. After crawling under a fence surrounding an electric substation, Richard climbed to 43 feet above the ground on a pole supporting high voltage lines at various levels, and then became too frightened to descend. Howard, noting Richard’s plight, also crawled under the fence and began climbing the pole. He came in contact with a line carrying 4000 volts of electricity and plunged 35 feet to the ground unconscious. He could not be revived. Help was summoned by others who had been attracted. Stephen Gutowski, an electrical serviceman, arrived with his supervisor, who advised that it would require a half an hour to shut off all power. Gutowski, who was 65 years old and for 10 years rarely had climbed poles, volunteered to get Richard. He put on pole-climbing equipment and, taking with him a rope one end of which was held by persons on the ground, ascended the pole to directly opposite Richard’s position on a projecting arm. Within inches of lines carrying 12000 volts of electricity, Gutowski started to fasten his safety belt around it. Richard lunged toward Gutowski, who quickly took hold of the boy and told him to remain on the arm without moving. Richard did so as Gutowski fastened his safety belt and put on rubber gloves. Exercising care to avoid the high voltage lines, he lifted Richard to a seated position across the strap of the safety belt. Gutowski placed the rope over a crossarm, fashioned a sling around Richard, and cautiously lowered him through the maze of electric lines. Gutowski then descended the pole. Richard was nervous for several days, and Gutowski later suffered from nausea and nervousness. They recovered.
44256 – 417844256-4178