A driver was rescued from a crashed pickup truck near a sheared hydrant that was gushing water onto downed power lines in Montebello early Tuesday morning.
The pre-dawn crash on Telegraph Road between Slauson and Greenwood avenues involved multiple vehicles, one of which ended up hitting a power pole and shearing a fire hydrant, Montebello Fire Battalion Chief Dan France said.
Firefighters were held at bay by the pool of electrified water, but communicated with the trapped driver by cellphone, France said.
A Southern California Edison crew arrived after sunrise to shut down the power, and firefighters were then able to close the water valve and safely get the driver out of the pickup truck, aerial footage taken by NewsChopper4 showed.
The driver, a male, was placed on a stretcher with minor injuries and loaded into an ambulance, France said.
"If he had gotten out of the car, there's a very good possibility that he would have been electrocuted," France said. "As long as you're in the car, there's rubber, you're safe. If you get out of the car and then you become a conductor, that's when you get electrocuted. He did the right thing by staying in the car."
On Aug. 22, 2012, two women attempting to rescue a driver who struck a light pole and sheared a fire hydrant in Valley Village were electrocuted when they stepped into water that had been electrified with 4,800 volts. The driver was sentenced to three years probation after pleading no contest to one count of vehicular manslaughter.