The West

Utility pleads guilty to fatal safety breach
Amber Finch, 17, was killed by severe electric shock. Picture: Supplied

Western Power has admitted safety breaches over the death of a Geraldton teenager who was electrocuted by a fallen power line as she walked home from a party with friends.

The utility faces a fine of up to $250,000 after pleading guilty to breaching electricity safety regulations over an incident in Geraldton.

Amber Finch, 17, was killed by severe electric shock in the early hours of January 30, 2011, her head struck a damaged wire left dangling by storms which had lashed the Mid West town.

Western Power was charged in January by WA’s electricity safety watchdog over breaches to the State’s electricity network safety regulations in relation to the incident, where two other teenagers were also injured.

The utility will be sentenced in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court next month after pleading guilty to a charge of breaching electrical supply standard and systems safety regulations last month.

Energy Safety alleges the State-owned electricity distributor failed to act on warnings about the need to replace the kind of ageing wires involved in the Geraldton incident, in August Street, Beachlands, on January 31, 2011.

Perth lawyer Kevin Banks-Smith has been hired by Ms Finch’s parents to represent them in pushing for damages and an apology.

He declined to comment on the case.

Western Power declined to comment today.

The West Australian

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