SACRAMENTO — A man is credited with saving his younger brother’s life after an electric shock accident on a construction site.
“He’s my best friend,” Jory Papke said. “I had to think, ‘Am I going to grab him or am I going to watch my brother die here?'”
Jory and his brother Kyle work together in construction. They were on a job site together Tuesday in Angels Camp.
Jory says a group of workers was moving scaffolding when it hit a power line and sent electricity down the pole. One worker was electrocuted but was able to let go. Kyle wasn’t so lucky.
“He actually fell forward onto it so his whole body was on it,” Jory said. “As he was holding onto it his whole body caught on fire.”
That’s when Jory made the decision to risk his own life to save his brother’s.
“I grabbed onto him tried to pull him off. The electrocution was going through my body so strong I had to let go,” he said.
He tried a second time and was able to pull his brother off, but that wasn’t the end of it. Kyle wasn’t breathing.
“I was just on top of him, just begging, ‘Please start breathing,'” he said.
After an agonizing 30 seconds performing CPR, Kyle woke up. That first breath took the weight of the world off Jory’s shoulders.
“The love that Jory has for his brother Kyle,” their mom, Melanie, told FOX40. “The love there is great.”
Kyle suffered severe internal and external burns but is expected to be OK. Another good sign — his breathing tube was removed on Thursday.
“He grabbed my hand and pulled me in close and said, ‘You saved my life,'” Jory said.
Cal OSHA is investigating the incident and has six months to issue citations for violations of workplace safety regulations. A spokesperson says there are no previous Cal OSHA inspections into the subcontractor or general contractor involved.