We Energies crews traveling back from California help save woman after she drives off 75-foot cliff

We Energies crews save life of California woman who drove off 75-foot embankment
We Energies crews save life of California woman who drove off 75-foot embankment(We Energies)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 3:41 PM CST
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WSAW) - For We Energies workers, helping people is their calling, they just didn’t expect it would happen 2,000 miles away. 

Workers from We Energies and sister company WPS were in California working to get the lights back on for tens of thousands of people who lost power from a series of strong storms.

“We wrapped up our power restoration efforts in central California and had just started our trip home when a driver of an SUV lost control, shot across the freeway median, and went airborne down a 75-foot embankment,” said Jeb Loth, a We Energies operations supervisor.

Loth and his co-workers in the five-truck convoy quickly and safely pulled over on US-99 near Livingston, California, and jumped into action. The group was uniquely qualified. Each person is skilled in first aid and safety training.

“The SUV landed on its side in a pool of water,” Loth recalled. “Luckily we had easy access to a ladder and were able to get the driver out and up the muddy embankment. If we had not seen the crash, it’s possible no one would have seen the vehicle down the embankment.”

As they got the driver into one of the trucks to wait for paramedics, they experienced another near disaster. Two vehicles on the freeway lost control, collided with each other and crashed into a We Energies bucket truck that was pulled over on the side of the road.

We Energies crews again jumped into action, providing aid until first responders arrived.

“We went to California to help. Obviously, we did not expect to help in this way, but we are happy we were in the right place at the right time,” Loth said.

The crews spent a few days in central California helping restore power. The Wisconsin crews planned to spend two weeks on restoration efforts, but were released last weekend after an expected strong storm did not materialize and outages were quickly restored.