EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — The El Dorado County coroner says PG&E’s power shutoffs did not cause the death of a Pollock Pines man who died 12 minutes after the power was cut and relied on oxygen and CPAP machines to live.
The power went off Wednesday morning in Pollock Pines and just minutes later, the victim’s daughter, Marie Aldea, says her dad couldn’t breathe.
The family of Robert Mardis Sr. says they did everything they could to make sure he would be okay during this shutoff. They’re frustrated and angry because it wasn’t enough, and now they’ve got to live on without their loved one.
“I hope everybody sees this and makes clear this is not ok for PG&E to do,” Aldea said.
A spokesperson for PG&E said they have no information on the incident and referred CBS13 to the sheriff’s office.
The results from the coroner’s report showed that Mardis Sr. had a buildup of plaque in his arteries and died from severe coronary artery atherosclerosis, which is a condition that affects blood flow to the heart. The report states, “The power outage from the recent PSPS was not the cause of death.”
Aldea sees the situation differently. Ahead of the outage, she brought him to her house where she had resources like extra oxygen. She said PG&E cut power to her home around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Her dad was using a CPAP machine to help him breathe as he slept. That machine needs power to work, so when it went out, she said he couldn’t breathe. The generator never kicked in for back up, and he couldn’t make it to the extra oxygen tank.
“It wasn’t enough…it still wasn’t enough,” she said. “We took every precaution we could take, and it still was not enough.”
Aldea says her father was a good man who loved his family.
“He collapsed into my mom’s arms and my husband applied CPR,” she said.
Aldea says her father had a lot of medical issues. She expected him to pass soon, but not like this.
“Now, I have to get over this day-by-day, step-by-step trying to get over this which I’m never going to get over,” Aldea said. “He was my father. He was a great man.”