By: Boden Meyer
Monday, August 12 at 5:39 pm on Midvale Fire and EMS as well as Washington County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to a paraglider stuck in a power line off North Crane Road approximately 7 miles past Big Flat Road.
The patient was able to contact emergency services via satellite phone, and told dispatch that he had been electrocuted, but was safe if he stayed still. First on scene was Chief Deputy Cody Strong. He talked with the patient, and advised he wasn't getting shocked if he didnt move. Idaho Power arrived shortly thereafter and was able to get all lines de-energized. When Idaho Power arrived on scene with two pickup bucket trucks, they estimated the patient to be approximately 120 feet above the ground, while their trucks only reach around 45 feet. Idaho Power dispatched a heavy-duty “Condor” bucket truck that reaches 150 feet up. This truck would be responding out of Boise.
With sheriff's deputies, fire, ems, as well as LifeFlight on scene, they kept the patient as comfortable as possible while waiting for the bucket truck to arrive. The patient was only complaining of slight chest pain where he thought he had been shocked, but still in high spirits.
Idaho Power arrived with their bucket truck around 10:40 pm, and after getting set up, and properly grounding all of the lines for safety, the patient was removed from his parachute, and was successfully on the ground at 11:35.
Layne Lamoreaux age 37 was with a group of three other paragliders coming back from Smiths Ferry to Squaw Butte, while Lamoreaux decided to take a slight detour. Lamoreaux says, “ I Miscalculated the dynamic air in the valley, and set my glide ratio wrong. I thought I could clear the powerlines, but hit a sink spot in the air, and hooked the powerline.” Lamoreaux and others left Smiths Ferry around 2 pm, and was supposed to be in the air for approximately 40 minutes. He says he ended up in the powerline around 5:15 pm. “This was the best flight of my life until it wasn't,” says Lamoreaux.
When Lamoreaux was successfully on the ground, LifeFlight members, as well as Midvale EMTs, examined him. Lamoreaux only had a few marks where the electricity entered and exited the body. Lamoreaux insisted on walking himself, and was able to walk all the way back to the helicopter. Lamoreaux was transported via LifeFlight to Saint Al’s in Boise as a precaution for electrocution.