On Monday, April 1, 17-year-old Jake Hourmouzus, Jacob Schnieder, two other teens and a dog went out for what should’ve been a fun time riding four-wheelers across farmland and orchards in Dixon, California.
As they drove through the orchards and near a canal, the dog tried to cross the water but fell in. Schneider leapt to the rescue, using a nearby metal bridge to steady himself in the strong current as he reached toward the dog.
What none of the boys realized was that the bridge was hot. The Solano County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed that there were exposed wires that made the boy’s move fatal.
Hourmouzus saw his friend in distress, and — also not realizing the bridge was hot — jumped in, too, touching the bridge and being electrocuted as well.
The third boy managed to separate them from the live bridge, but by then it was too late. The only small shred of comfort was that doctors believe their passing was instantaneous.
“They were electrocuted, and I asked the doctor yesterday if it was an instant death and they said they believed so,” Hourmouzus’ mother, Candy Carrillo, said, according to KTXL.
The dog survived and passed a vet check, but the boys’ families are left trying to come to terms with this staggering loss.
“He would have given the shirt off his back,” Carillo continued. “He knew what he wanted and he always went after it.”
“At the same time when he touched that rail, what I understood is that’s where he stayed right there,” Hourmouzus’ stepfather, Gus Carillo, said. “He could not get off of it.”
“So my son decided to jump in there, but not knowing what it was to help his friend and when he touched that also, he got stuck there too.”
Candy Carillo is convinced the owners should have done more to block access to the bridge, pointing out how wide-open the trail was and how there was no warning of any sort.
“They should do more to prevent it,” she said, “to prevent access on these side roads.”
Jacob Schneider’s grandmother, Joy Branco, also praised her grandson’s kindness and remembered how much he loved going out on quads with his friends.
“He was a kind kid, he always thought of the other person,” Branco said. “He died doing what he liked doing. Jacob will always be in my heart.”
The local Dixon Dutch Bros is hosting a fundraiser on April 5 for the two families, donating $1 from every drink to the families of Hourmouzus and Schneider.
“We hope to be a light for these families and are grateful for our customers’ support,” Owner Sean Provost said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
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