Irma Zamora's husband told her not to get out of the car as they approached the scene of a traffic accident on Wednesday night. But she rushed out anyway because that's the kind of person she was, her sister said.
She ran toward the wrecked SUV and stepped into an electrified pool of water that had been created by a spewing hydrant and a downed light pole at Magnolia and Ben avenues in Valley Village. She was immediately –- and fatally — electrocuted by what firefighters estimate was 48 volts of electricity.
"She was like that," Zamora's sister Ana Aviles said. "She always helped people. She didn't measure the consequences. She was trying to save a life."
Zamora's husband also reached the water and was electrocuted, though not as badly, said Jaime Moore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
He had to be restrained from trying to rescue his wife, Moore said.
"By the time we came, the husband was screaming" for his wife, said Sue Kochoo, a neighbor who also hurried to the scene after hearing the crash. Kochoo said she and a friend would have also ran into the water had someone not yelled at them to stop.
Kochoo said the electrified pool grew for several minutes. Zamora and another woman were in the middle, one on top of the other.
Rescue crews had to pull them from the water using a 6-foot pole with hooks and a handle that doesn't conduct electricity, Moore said.
In all, six people were injured, and two died.
-- Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times