Charlie Velazquez said he was “still shaking” after his near brush with death. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


A Middlesex County man said he was “lucky to be alive” after a live electrical line landed on the van he was driving in Red Bank Wednesday morning.A passing semi took the wire down, Velazquez said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Charlie Velazquez was traveling west on Pinckney Road at about 11:30 a.m. when an eastbound tractor-trailor snagged an overhead cable bundle, dropping it onto his van, he told redbankgreen.

The wires hit the windshield so hard that he was surprised it didn’t shatter, he said.

Velazquez said he realized he was in mortal danger when he saw sparks outside his van.

“I just froze. I didn’t move,” he said.

Fearing for his life if he stayed where he was, he pulled the sleeve of his sweatshirt down over his left hand and used it to gingerly open the door and exit the van, stepping over the live wire, he said.

“I’m still shaking,” he said, as police and volunteer firefighters awaited the arrival of a Jersey Central Power & Light crew to turn off the power. “In one second, your life can change.”

The semi that took down the wire didn’t stop, though Velazquez said he found it hard to believe the driver didn’t feel the resistance of it.

The owner of the home from which the wires were pulled said he had repeatedly asked JCP&L to raise the wires, to no avail.