View Full Version : A body's reaction to large voltages

Dr. Fabian E. Pollo
06-10-1997, 05:01 AM
I have a lawsuit case I have been asked to consult on dealing with a
crane operator being electricuited after hitting some high voltage power

After hitting the power lines, the crane operator aledgedly gets out of
the cab and is crouching down a few inches besides the crane looking
underneath it, when suddenly the line came back on (to about 188,000
volts and very high amperage) for a split second, until it tripped again
due to the ground fault. The crane operator was found underneath the
crane and the plantiff's attorneys are trying to claim that during that
split second, the electricity fired every muscle in his body and
propelled him forward under the crane. He is a large man (5'10" and 200
lbs) and the crane is apporxiamtely 3' off the ground.

If we can assume that the surge of electricity fired every muscle in his
body maximally. Then, from a crouched position, he would have been
propelled more vertically than horizontally and most likely struck the
side of the crane and fallen back beside it and not underneath it.

Has anyone heard of how the body reacts to very high voltages of
electricity such a as in a lightening strike? Would there be enough
energy in the ankle plantar flexors and knee extensors to propell an
individual off the ground or would the antagonist muscles resist enough
to avoid that scenario.

And does it make sense that from a crouched position, the minimal
initial angle of trajectory can be no less than the angle that the shank
makes with the ground.

Any assitance would be appreiciated.

Thank you,


Fabian E. Pollo, Ph.D.
Director, Motion and Performance Laboratory
Baylor University Medical Center
3500 Gaston Avenue
Dallas, TX 75246

Voice: (214) 820-6300
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