New Regulation Could Enforce Continuous Stray Voltage Checks

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Jessica Kartalija 80x80 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The parents of a teen killed in a Baltimore City park want to make sure it never happens again. Their 14-year-old daughter was electrocuted when she touched a metal fence.

Jessica Kartalija explains how a new regulation could keep electricity in check.

At a Public Service Commission hearing, the Green family urged state and private companies to continually check for stray voltage.

Four years ago, Deanna Green touched a fence on a baseball field in Druid Hill Park. An exposed electrical wire was touching the fence underground—227 volts traveled through her body, killing her.

Now her parents are intent on having the city take action with a regulation in the 14-year-old’s name.

 “The Deanna Camille Green rule would work to have surveys done of the Baltimore, Md. area to find the stray contact electricity,” said Nancy Arrington-Green, Deanna’s mother.

Now the Greens attended a hearing at the Public Service Commission to come up with a survey schedule to identify areas with stray contact electricity.

“Children and people are all over this city and the infrastructure is not what it used to be,” said Anthony “Bubba” Green, Deanna’s father.

In February, WJZ investigated this problem, riding along with a company, finding hundreds of sites pulsing with potentially deadly stray voltage.

Aging and decaying wires under sidewalks, light poles and manhole covers pose a risk to anyone who comes in contact. 

“Find where the problem is and then come back and do another survey to see if there are any more problems that have creeped up over the past few years,” Anthony Green said.

Some companies argue that conducting more than more survey a year is too expensive. But for the Greens, it’s a small price to pay to save a life.

“We’ve paid for this already,” Anthony Green said. “We paid for this with the life of our daughter.”

Private companies, as well as city and state agencies, are all responsible for maintaining those underground lines.

Anything over 50 volts can be deadly.

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