Louisville Woman Killed in Freak Las Vegas Accident

Published: Aug. 18, 2003 at 4:07 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2003 at 3:53 PM EST
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By Dina Kaplan

(LOUISVILLE, August 18th, 2003, 3 p.m.) -- A Louisville family is mourning a mother of four, 39-year-old Becky Longhoffer, who died in a freak accident in Las Vegas over the weekend. When she was crossing the street it's believed she stepped on an exposed wire and was electrocuted. WAVE 3's Dina Kaplan reports.

She stepped in the wrong spot at the exact wrong time. Her brother, Fain Brooks, heard the news Sunday morning.

Brooks said he heard "'There was an accident, and she was electrocuted,' and I was like, 'what'?" said Brooks.

Longhoffer's four children learned their mother had been killed Sunday afternoon. Longhoffer had four children: 22, 15, 11 and Abbie, just one-year-old. Brooks said she was a devoted mother and would often "take them (her kids) to the pool. She loved to bike, jog, run -- do everything," said Brooks.

Longhoffer and her fiance, Andy, were in Las Vegas, when, according to Las Vegas media outlets, they were crossing a street flooded with rainwater about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Longhoffer stepped on an old wire from a power box that controls traffic lights. The coroner's office says she was electrocuted.

"I saw a girl floating in the water on her back," said Jim Kulch, who tried to save her.

"I came over and wrapped my belt around her leg and pulled her out of the water, and when I grabbed her I got electrocuted as well from the electricity going through her body," Kulch said.

Kulch tried to give her CPR, but she did not survive.

As her family mourns, their anger grows.

"This is crazy. It should not have happened," said Brooks.

Longhoffer's family says they plans to file a lawsuit. But as of Sunday their immediate task was to tell her children what happened, and that it will have to simply be along the lines of: "There was an accident, and your mother walked across the street, and she stepped on something, and God took her," said Brooks.

Becky's fiance, Andy, was still in Las Vegas Monday. He will return to Louisville with her body most likely on Tuesday.

And within the next few weeks Becky's family plans to travel to Las Vegas. They have a number of questions for officials there about the wire that electrocuted Longhoffer. They want to see the exact spot where she was killed.