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The Story of a Sister's Death

Dear Mike,

Thank you so much for responding to my written passage in your guest book. The funny thing is I really don't know how I was able to find your web site. I was browsing the internet and wound up there. I will definitely visit the site and let others know as well.

As you can imagine, the loss of my sister was very tragic. Apparently what happened on July 15, 2002, around 11:00am, she was at her house (Marietta, Georgia) with her 3 kids getting ready to fill a little child's pool with water. It had rained the night before so the grass was still wet.

She would always walk around outside barefooted as well. Rhonda had asked my parents the night before if she could use their large fan to help circulate air and blow on her while she was outside watching the kids in the pool, because it would get unbearably hot. This fan was a large metal shop fan that my dad had used in his automotive shop 10 years prior.

Someone in his shop had replaced the plug and spliced the wires together and secured them with black tape. Well of course over this 10 year period, the tape had started to unravel and the wires were exposed underneath. It was dark when the fan was loaded on her truck to take home, so no one noticed this. My parents had used the fan as an indoor fan for many years prior to this as well. The fan was plugged into an extension cord that was plugged into a 110 volt outlet inside of her older home.

Of course the outlet was not grounded as we all found out after the fact. She had the type personality that she wanted to get things done quick and wouldn't even think that any possible danger could occur. She apparently was picking up the fan, which was on, in an attempt to move it somewhere else. She had an entry wound/burn to her right hand in between her thumb and forefinger and an exit wound to her left inner forearm where her arm touched the metal ring.

There were no witnesses except her children who described it as her "falling over and not getting up" So needless to say, she was electrocuted when she was standing barefoot in wet grass, touching the exposed wires of a fan that was plugged up to an ungrounded 110 volt outlet.

She was very special to all of us and will be missed forever!

Thank You for allowing me to tell her story. Hopefully if others are aware, people won't take electricity for granted. I know those of you who work with it everyday don't, You are to be commended for preventing countless tragic deaths everyday. I would like to provide you with a web link to a memorial web page I put together in her honor. This would be the best way to provide an easily accessible description and picture of her to express how really wonderful she was!

Thank You again for taking time out of your busy schedule to respond to my message.

Rhonda Kay Berndt-Greiner
May 24,1964-July 15,2002

URL to web memorial:



Nikki Berndt-Jones RN,BSN,CLNC
Legal Nurse Consultant
4809 Shallow Farm Drive
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144

Mike Holt's Comment: To all who read this sad story. Please remember that all metal parts must be properly bonded to an effective ground-fault current path [250.2] in accordance with the NEC [250.4(A)(5)]. If this had been the case, Rhonda would still be with us.

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