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Silicon Valley Exec Killed Trying To Save His Daughter From Electrified Pool
A Silicon Valley executive was fatally electrocuted on Easter when he tried to rescue his daughter from their backyard pool in Palm Springs.Jim Tramel, 43, lived in Burlingame and was vice president of sales at marketing technology company RevJet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
On Sunday, Tramel and his family were at their vacation home in Palm Springs. At some point, the pool became electrified, and victims reported a "tingling feeling." The body of Tramel's 9-year-old daughter became lifeless and she sunk to the bottom of the pool. Tramel jumped in to try to save her, but he was immediately electrocuted and lost consciousness, authorities told the Los Angeles Times.
Palm Springs police Sgt. William Hutchinson told the Times, "I think most people, your first instinct is to dive in and rescue your child. I think a lot of people unfortunately would have taken that route. He may not have known … what was going on."
Tramel was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. His daughter survived, though she is in critical condition. Several other people who were in the pool—including Tramel's wife and other children—were also shocked, though they were far enough away from the source of the electricity that their injuries were less serious.
A preliminary investigation suggests that a light fixture in the pool was missing screws and had some sort of power surge, perhaps caused by faulty pool wires. Investigators suspect it's nothing more than a horrific freak accident and a pretty rare one at that.
A neighbor Philip Cooper told The Desert Sun that many of the houses on the block were built in the 1960s, and they didn't have up-to-date electrical systems. He's not sure whether the Tramel family had updated theirs when they moved in.
Hutchison told the Times that emergency responders were shaken by the incident, "Thinking about that pool, I went home and scheduled a contractor."
Mitchell Weisman, the CEO of RevJet, started up a GoFundMe account to help the Tramel family, and says he's "heartbroken." He writes:
Jim's lovely wife Kim and their children now face the future without a husband, and without a father. Even worse, at this very moment Jim's oldest child remains in intensive care, fighting for her life. Please pray with us for her survival and recovery.
Scott Van Dyke, the Tramels' neighbor next door, told The Desert Sun that the family came down to visit a few times a year: "They were lovely people. He was a loving husband, with kids and a wife. I can't imagine ... how their world's been turned upside down."