A man fell into the Bricktown Canal in Oklahoma City on Sunday night, and he and the Good Samaritan who tried to help him were electrocuted in the water.
Wes Seeley, 23, of Oklahoma City was walking next to the canal when he lost his balance and fell in, KOCO in Oklahoma City reported.
As Seeley fell into the water he grabbed a bollard — a short light post — on the sidewalk, KOCO reported, but it broke off its base and fell into the water with him, electrocuting him. He died.
Brandon Gann of Arkansas jumped into the electrified water to rescue him and is now “fighting for his life,” according to a GoFundMe page.
Gann got married Saturday, the day before the accident, in Clarksville, Arkansas, friends told KWTV in Oklahoma City.
“Man, it brought me to tears,” Shawn Ellis, one of Gann’s friends and groomsmen, told KWTV. “This is very heartbreaking for all family and friends ... he is genuinely one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.”
KFOR in Oklahoma City reported that callers to 911 told dispatchers that Seeley was posing for photos for a friend and was holding onto the light post when he fell over into the water.
Bricktown is a popular area with “more than 45 restaurants, bars, and retail shops, along with family-friendly attractions, public art, museums, galleries, and even an urban beach for summer fun,” according to WelcomeToBricktown.com.
“As (Seeley) was trying to get out of the canal, he grabbed onto the bollard and the wires and that’s when the electrocution, from what I understood, took place.,” Kristy Yager, a spokeswoman for the city of Oklahoma City, told KFOR.
Witnesses who reached into the water to grab the two men were also shocked by the electrified water, fire officials told KFOR.
“We did not commit rescuers into the water because we did not know if the electrocution involved the water itself and if we would get somebody in the water that would possibly get them electrocuted,” Grant Roberts of the Oklahoma City Fire Department told KOCO.
Firefighters used a fiberglass pike pole for the rescue, KFOR reported.
Yager told The Oklahoman newspaper that the 80 bollards alongside the canal provide the main source of lighting in that area. They were installed in 1998 and are maintained daily, she told the newspaper.
“We have crews out on the canal that work every day, even weekends, and if they see problems, then they’ll take care of it and fix it and they didn’t see a problem with that bollard,” Yager told KFOR.
“We just have never had an incident like this occur along the Bricktown Canal. So it’s just tragic.”