Portland teen hailed after saving baby from electrocution

Majiah Washington

A US teen has been hailed as a hero for saving a baby boy after his parents were electrocuted by a power line during an ice storm in Oregon.

Majiah Washington, 18, was inside her house and ran out to check on the nine-month-old after seeing his parents both shocked by the line on Wednesday.

She pulled the boy to safety after his parents and uncle were all killed having slipped and touched the wire.

The storm has caused at least 10 deaths in Oregon.

The wintery barrage, which has seen daylong power outages and icy rain, caused the governor to declare a state-wide emergency on Thursday.

Ms Washington said she saw a flash outside of her Portland home during the storm and when she looked out her window she saw a downed power line resting on top of a SUV.

She then witnessed the boy’s father exit the car and try to take the baby up the slick driveway, but he slipped on ice and his foot touched the downed power line.

The baby’s 21-year-old mother, Tajaliayh Briggs, tried to reach the boy but also slipped and was electrocuted by the power line. Ms Briggs was six-months pregnant at the time of the tragedy, according to The Associated Press.

Hearing the commotion, the mother’s 15-year-old brother, Ta’Ron Briggs, ran out to help. He, too, accidentally touched the wire from the icy conditions.

“The individuals affected were occupants of the SUV and exited the vehicle following the branch bringing the live power line down upon their vehicle,” Portland Fire and Rescue said in a statement.

“When the feet of the individuals touched the ground, and their bodies were touching the car they became part of the active electrical circuit which resulted in their deaths.”

Ms Washington said she was on the phone with an emergency dispatch operator and acted out of instinct when she saw the child move, going to rescue him despite what she had just witnessed.

“I just thought, I have a nephew myself, I have little brothers, I would want somebody to do the same thing, I would hope somebody would do the same thing,” she told reporters at a news conference.

“I crouched down, I like kind of slid, I used my hands to break my fall, and I didn’t land on top of his father but my hands landed on top of him and I just grabbed the baby,” said Ms Washington. “I pulled him up, I was swaddling him and I walked him up the hill.”

The child was later examined at hospital and is recovering well.

Rick Graves, a spokesperson for Portland Fire and Rescue, said he did not know how Ms Washington nor the baby were not electrocuted, too. He described her actions as “heroic”.

“We do have fortunately with us a [child] that is going to be able to thrive and do what they possibly can as they move forward,” Mr Graves said. “And they are here, in part, because of the heroic acts of a member of our community.”

Ms Washington’s neighbour, Ronald Briggs, was the father of Tajaliayh Briggs and Ta’Ron Briggs.

“I have six kids,” he said to a local news station. “I lost two of them in one day.” https://documentsemua.com/

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