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Dixon teens electrocuted, die during attempted dog rescue

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Two 17-year-old boys died after they were electrocuted while they touched an electrified metal walking bridge over an irrigation canal in Dixon Monday, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office said.

The teens were walking on the 25-foot long bridge over the canal off Dixon Avenue west of Interstate Highway 80 when a dog that was with them jumped or fell into the canal, sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Pratt said. Jacob Houtmouzus, of Elk Grove, and Jacob Schneider, of Dixon, jumped into the canal to save the dog while two other teens remained on the bridge, Pratt said.

When the boys grabbed the dog, they reached up to the metal bridge to keep from being pulled down the canal. Witnesses said the boys appeared to have been electrocuted and were unable to release their grip on the bridge until a third boy jumped into the canal and knocked both boys off the bridge, Pratt said.

The third boy pulled the teens and the dog out of the canal and onto a levee, and a teen girl also with them called 911, Pratt said. Emergency responders arrived and began life-saving efforts on the boys. One was taken by a California Highway Patrol helicopter to Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center and the other by ambulance, according to Pratt. The teens were pronounced dead at the hospital.

PG&E deactivated power to the bridge to make it safe for an investigation by the Solano County district attorney’s and sheriff’s offices’ investigators. Authorities do not yet know how the bridge became energized, Pratt said.

Cary Keaten, general manager of the Solano Irrigation District, said the district is working with the sheriff’s office to investigate the circumstances of the case, and will update information when it becomes available.

“The Solano Irrigation District joins the Dixon community in mourning the loss of two young men. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends affected by this tragedy,” Keaten said in a statement.

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