A suburban man lost his life — and his nephew lost his arms — from an improperly installed ComEd wire. State regulators can’t guarantee it won’t happen again
In the final moments of his life, Robert Zulauf administered CPR to his nephew and ordered bystanders to move away from the deadly power line that arced and bowed just a few feet from a Circle K parking lot.
Flames danced around Jordan Zulauf as thick black smoke billowed and his uncle worked to save him. Above the men, a Commonwealth Edison line crackled and hummed so loudly it could be heard over both an approaching police siren and the screams of horrified onlookers.
“911! 911!” Robert shouted to police officers as they arrived on the scene. “I’ve got one hurt!"
Robert took a few steps toward his white utility truck, which he had parked along the road so he and Jordan could work on the telecommunication lines several feet below the ComEd wires. The bucket was extended about 6 feet off the ground and, according to one witness, a wire was touching its long metal arm.
Robert touched the truck. His body went rigid and he fell to the ground.
He instantly burst into flames.