DIXON (CBS13) — New details have surfaced about the death of two teenage boys who were electrocuted in Dixon after jumping into an irrigation canal to save a dog.
A small memorial still stands at the canal in Dixon where this happened. Jacob Schneider and Jacob Hourmouzus lost their lives trying to do something good.
Attorneys representing the families of the boys said this could have been prevented. Daniel Wilcoxen and Robert Buccola said the boys tried to climb out of the canal, but when they put their hands on the bridge above it they died from electrocution. The alleged problem was electricity coming from a nearby pole. They claim the Solano Irrigation District didn’t install the proper device to stop electricity flowing from the pole to the bridge.
“A lot of people take the easy way as opposed to the correct way,” said Wilcoxen, who represents Hourmouzus’ family.
Buccola and Wilcoxen said the Solano Irrigation District should have installed a fuse box that would have stopped the bridge from becoming electrified.
“I doubt it was done intentionally. I doubt it was done horrifically recklessly, but we do know it was done in a way that was completely incompetent,” Buccola said.
Wilcoxen said irrigation districts in California are not regulated or forced to do inspections.
“Nobody follows up behind them and says ‘This is dangerous, this isn’t grounded, this is an inappropriate electrical system,’” he said.
Wilcoxen believes there could be issues with canals all over the county, even the state.
A complaint filed Thursday accuses the Solano Irrigation District of knowing the canal bridge in Dixon was used by people in the area, and still failing to install the proper protection devices.
“They make up the rules as they go along. We’ve got to stop that, this can’t happen,” Wilcoxen said.
A spokesperson for the Solano Irrigation District said they are cooperating with the Sheriff’s investigation into this situation, but can’t comment further due to pending litigation.
As part of a possible settlement, attorneys want to require the Solano Irrigation District to be subjected to more oversight.
“That’s what our clients really want to see is proactive change in the future so something like this could never happen again,” Buccola said.
There could also be criminal charges in this case. The Solano County Sheriffs Office and the district attorney did not respond to phone calls and emails about their investigation.