CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — It could have been a deadly accident, but what these teenagers learned in a presentation kept them safe.
A few months ago, Unity High School held a power safety demonstration. Ameren hosted it after a line fell on a student’s car and she didn’t know what to do.
Sunday, it happened again, but with a much different result. The students were driving along the street when power lines fell like dominoes. You can still see the impact on the grass where they fell.
One landed on a car. After a moment of shock, they knew exactly what to do. This is what Logan Flesch saw out his car window Sunday afternoon.
“We saw the farthest power line go down. Then we got hit with a little domino effect.”
He and his friends were headed home after getting a tornado warning on their phones.
“We were able to just be hit by a line that rested right here.”
You can still see the mark it left on his car. Brieana Renfroe was in the back seat when it happened.
“I was crying and I was really scared because I never thought anything like this would happen.”
But, after a moment of confusion, they knew exactly what to do.
“I remembered when Ameren came to talk to us, that we’re supposed to stay in the car, stay calm and don’t get out.”
In April, the recent graduates sat through a live line safety demonstration at Unity High School.
“If you’re in the vehicle, and most people know this, stay put, do not get out.”
Ameren put it on after a Unity student got out when a power line fell on her car last summer. She could have been electrocuted. Without the demonstration, these kids could have too.
“It really feels good to know that the message got out and these four students, children were safe.”
Macie Wilson was one of them. She was sitting next to Renfroe in the car Sunday and during the demonstration at Unity in April.
“When we’re going it, it’s kind of like, ugh, I don’t want to do this today.” Now, looking back… “It’s like, thank you for coming in and doing that.”
The teens called 911. By the time help got there, the line was dead and it was safe to get out.
They say the man who lives in the house should get a special thank you because Mr. Placket used his Gator to help get first responders to their car.
If a power line falls on your car, stay inside. If you have to get out, jump with both feet together and without any part of your body still touching the car. That way, you don’t become a path for electricity. Just to be safe, hop 30 – 40 feet away.