A high school teacher in South Carolina was fatally hit by a utility pole during her lunch break. Jeunelle Robinson, 31, a teacher at Wagener-Salley High School, was struck by a utility pole that went airborne at an intersection when a tractor-trailer collided with eight power lines in the area in Wagener, SC, nearly 40 miles southwest of Columbia, on August 23.
Disturbing video captures the moment the beloved was killed by the utility pole after it snapped loose. The family of the victim now plans to file a lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages, alleging negligence and claiming that the rotting pole came crashing down on her.
Killed in No Time
Surveillance footage captured the moment a trailer passed by Robinson in the quaint town of Wagener, South Carolina. Unfortunately, during this process, the trailer caught onto overhead powerlines, causing a destructive collapse of eight poles.
Robinson, who was in the midst of her second year at Wagener-Salley High School, was on her lunch break at the time. The video shows her crossing the street just as the pole slammed into her, leading to the unfortunate death.
She remained motionless on the ground while the pole swayed back and forth in the August 23 incident.
According to witnesses who spoke to WIS News 10, the educator, described as “genuine and sweet,” made an attempt to move out of the way before the unexpected accident occurred.
Emergency responders quickly transported Robinson to Aiken Regional Medical Centers and then airlifted her to Augusta University Medical Center. Tragically, despite their efforts, she was pronounced dead at the medical center.
Family members of Robinson are pursuing a legal claim for $100 million on behalf of her estate, in addition to a $10 million trust intended to start an annual scholarship in Robinson’s honor, WRDW reported.
“Jeunelle’s parents will advocate for change in how large companies treat the citizens in rural areas where they use our small populations as justification for not upgrading our equipment and shine a light on the massive infrastructure inequities that have plagued our rural areas for far too long,” family attorney Justin Bamberg said.
“Companies with more money than South Carolina herself left loving parents, siblings, relatives, friends, students, teachers, and administrators with a void that can never be filled,” Bamberg said.
“Ms. Robinson should still be with us if only big utility companies had done decided to treat rural South Carolina fairly.”
In Robinson’s Memory
Speaking at a press conference, Robinson’s father, Donovan Julian, shared that his daughter had faced academic challenges during her own childhood but had a deep affection for her students.
“She was taken too soon and was a joy,” he added.
“She wasn’t a quitter and she loved those kids. She’d say those were her kids.”
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is currently investigating the incident, but no charges have been filed thus far.
Dominion Energy, the local power supplier, expressed their deepest condolences to the family through a statement. However, due to the ongoing investigation, they mentioned it’s premature to provide any related details.
During a public meeting, the town’s mayor, Michael Miller, aged 69, shared that the poles were so old that he could recognize a bottle cap he had attached to one when he was around 8 or 9 years old.
Representative Bamberg, a representative in the state legislature, said that the eight poles collapsed over an area that might span the length of a football field. He also pointed out that one of the poles had last been inspected in 2014.
“Some of the poles were over 60 years old and marked to be replaced over a decade ago,” he added.
“Completely avoidable situation.”
A statement issued by the school said Robinson’s death has devastated everyone who knew her. “Over the past year, she became friends with numerous colleagues and developed meaningful relationships with many of our students,” it explained.
“She was genuine and sweet to everyone she encountered, her time here feels much too short.”