1 electrocuted, 1 in critical condition after fall at Oklahoma canal

Posted at 9:41 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 23:41:45-04

OKLAHOMA CITY –  A 23-year-old man was electrocuted and another man on his honeymoon is now in critical condition after an accident at an Oklahoma canal.

The man who died has been identified as 23-year-old Wesley Seeley.

On Sunday evening, 911 dispatchers in Oklahoma City received several calls about an accident at the Bricktown Canal.

"A guy was taking a picture, his girlfriend was taking a picture of her boyfriend. And he was holding on a lamp and he fell in the river, and the lamp fell with him and he got electrocuted. He's not conscious. He's on the ground. And he's not waking up,” said one 911 caller.

"Somebody jumped into the pool and they were drowning, then another guy jumped and one of them came out, but the other one is not,” said another 911 caller.

According to KFSM, the man who tried to save Seely, Brandon Gann, didn't know him. Gann was married over the weekend and was on his honeymoon in Oklahoma City at the time.

City officials said Seely was leaning against a bollard light along the canal when it suddenly gave way, sending him into the canal.

"He stopped and leaned up against one of the lighting bollards, and the bollard fell into the canal and took the man with him. And as he 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,” said Kristy Yager, with the City of Oklahoma City.

Fire officials say when they arrived, Seely had been pulled from the canal by bystanders.

"They were even getting shocked as they tried to grab the first individual and try to pull him out, so they were not able to do that. That's how we knew we were dealing with an electrical current in this water,” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Since they couldn’t get in the water, firefighters used a fiberglass pike pole to fish Gann from the bottom of the water.

"My understanding is the second individual didn't even know the first one that he was going in to try to assist, so it was somebody obviously, apparently, tried to do a really good thing and the circumstances were just really unfortunate,” said Chief Fulkerson.

City officials say they now have an electrical contractor checking all 80 of the bollards along the canal.

"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,” said Yager.

The lights are around 20 years old, installed the same time the canal was constructed. Yager said the lights are not grounded, adding that the city is unable to make the conversion because of the age of the lights.

"We just have never had an incident like this occur along the Bricktown Canal. So it's just tragic,” said Yager.

One of Gann's friends has told KFSM that he has a 9-year-old son. A support fund has been set up for the Gann family.