Woman electrocuted by live power line in South Richmond Hill

Police tape cordones off an area where a woman was electrocuted. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Friends and colleagues of a makeup artist were in mourning after the 23-year-old was killed by a downed electrical line in Richmond Hill Monday.

At about 8:30 p.m., just as Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, Lauren Abraham was electrocuted when she stepped into a puddle outside her home on 105th Avenue near 134th Street and came into contact with live wires that shocked her, according to the Police Department.

“Lauren was an individual you would easily gravitate to from her positive energy, which floated throughout the room,” friend Misa McGregor posted on Facebook. “I may have just met her this summer, but when I spoke to her it made me wanna push higher for my goals in life. Now how many young people do you know can have such an impact?”

McGregor also posted a short video with pictures of Abraham at work on fashion shoots.

“She was a nice girl,” said neighbor Mohan Mamgal, who along with other nearby residents had been told that Abraham was taking pictures with her cell phone when she came in contact with the downed wires.

After the initial electrocution Abraham’s body continued to be scorched, according to neighbors, as emergency and police responders could only watch helpless until the power could be shut down by Consolidated Edison.

“She was burned all over,” said neighbor Marie Costa.

It took about two hours for utility crews to turn off power before Abraham’s body could be reached.

“I just saw a big fire, I didn’t know that a person was getting burned,” said neighbor Shaun Harrilall.

Con Ed could not comment on the specific incident.

As of Tuesday afternoon, power had still not been restored to the neighborhood, and the only evidence that the grisly death had taken place was a black char mark along 105th Avenue.

A spokesman for the utility said that downed wires will still pose a danger, even days after Sandy leaves the area.

“These kinds of incidents occur when the wires are obscured by debris or they are underwater,” said Robert Mcgee. “We are urging people to stay away from areas where there is obvious damage for fear of exactly this kind of thing occurring again.”

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 12:30 pm, November 3, 2012
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Reader feedback

Mearee from south Richmond hill says:
OMG! My power line is down! How cute! Sending pix in a minute.
Zttttt. Zttttt. Ztttt.
Oct. 30, 2012, 8:40 pm
Sj from south ozone park says:
Thats not nice. to the person who left the comment above on this article. That person wasa really good friend of mine. So for you to write something like that is very ignorant.
Oct. 31, 2012, 12:13 am
melinda s from richmondhill says:
How sad. I live on the same block. While this was happening my husband and I thought it was garbage burning and my husband saw the fire, but it wqas her body burning that's crazy. We could smell the burning body all night but we thought it was just burning wires and the garbage.
Oct. 31, 2012, 1:47 am
Lavishfee from Nyc says:
That first comment was disgusting god don't like ugly you don't talk about anyone especially someone that died like that
Oct. 31, 2012, 3:51 am
Alisha from Brooklyn Heights says:
You kno I could really go off on Mearee right now, but I won't even give your ignorant ass the satisfaction!!! This is about My good friend Lauren who was on her way to greatness!!! I kno your in Heaven with the rest of the Angels!
Oct. 31, 2012, 5:47 am
Rohan from Richmond Hill, Queens says:
R.I.P Lauren, so sad to see you go like this.
Oct. 31, 2012, 9:54 am
I am so sorry to hear that you pass away like that Lauren. My thoughts and prayers are with you. R.I.P.
Oct. 31, 2012, 7:59 pm
Twin from Hanford says:
I'm so sorry, poor baby.
Oct. 31, 2012, 11:33 pm
kenya from nyc, ny says:
Maeree how could you. That was my family and for that first comment watch your back God dont like ugly you better be glad nobody in your family had a bad tragic death like that. Even if you did know her or not or even if she was someone you did not like you as a human being should still not find that funny about her or anyone.

But realize this by you saying that crap you might just have something negative happen in your life when it wasnt due to happen to being disgraceful like that. See people think they are tough But God just showed us that he is the Toughest you can not stop Nature Stupid. I dont wish you or your family the pain my family has right noe but what comes around goes around. If you got any sense you need to be on your knees praying to God to help people not laughing and cracking stupid jokes happy that someone is dead you watch yourself. God's work is not nothing to play with Fate might see you next.
Nov. 1, 2012, 12:11 pm
Nina D. from south jamaica says:
Lauren was one dedicated young lady. she worked for me at the theater for a while and i loved her. so sorry to have loss such a great person. To the ignorant person with the crazy comment how dare you im going to say a prayer for you and pray nothing like this ever happens to you or yours. R.I.P. LAUREN
Nov. 1, 2012, 3:27 pm
George from Oakland says:
Burned for two hours... I hope she died, or at least lost consciousness, quickly.

People need to learn, and remember, to be careful.
Nov. 2, 2012, 9:26 am
Jive from Manhattan says:
She must have been killed instantly... if it helps to any extent I am sure she did not feel any pain. At such a high voltage the heart will stop immediately.
Nov. 2, 2012, 12:58 pm
Stonewall from Bronx says:
"There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of Men for this treachery."

That treachery was your comment Mearee about a poor woman who was killed tragically during Sandy. It is apparent that you have no heart and you don't have a soul. My prayers are for Lauren and her family. May God bless and keep them in His care and have mercy on the sick idiots who (Maeree) who found this horrible event funny.
Nov. 2, 2012, 8:09 pm
Belinda Cohen from Grew up on 134 and Liberty ave says:
I understand why Lauren would have been taking pictures. When I lived on 134 I cant remember when we experienced a storm that caused damage. Things like that are interesting and is a cause to take pictures to remember them by. At 34 I would have never thought that in 2012 that a person could be shocked and killed by power lines hanging. I would have assumed that as most homes are made today, that when there is a compromised wire that there would be a safety trip that cuts power off to the source. I would have also though that a compromised wire would be noticed by the power company via a signal of some sort being sent to the main office as opposed to people being unknowingly in danger of death. The power company makes millions of dollars and should be held responsible. Money cannot replace your loved one but the way to institute change is to hit companies in thier pockets and force them to institute policies to protect their customers against these type of horrible accidents. I understand the power company cannot monitor and fix every electrical pole at the drop of a hat but they can insititute safety features to prevent these horrible accidents. To Lauren's family if you ever get tired of Queens think about relocating to Charlotte NC where life is beautiful and unkept streets are a thing of the past. I am truly sorry for your loss and have shed tears as if she was my sister. As a registered nurse I can assure you that Lauren didn't suffer. Shes smiling down on you all. Mearee you should consider apologizing, a bad joke at a bad time.
Nov. 2, 2012, 8:46 pm
Dave from Queens says:
I blame the media for this. They are the ones tell people to "send us your storm pix". This was a Hurricane people. Damage is going to occur. Trees, lines, poles will come down. Who would be to blame if a tree fell on someone due to the wind? No one should have been outside.

If you see a downed wire....STAY AWAY and call the FDNY.
Nov. 16, 2012, 3:37 pm
MrFixit from StAlbans says:
Its so sad to hear the way Lauren passed, my prayers are with you, your family and all that knew you. R.I.P Lauren
Nov. 18, 2012, 3:19 am
FoReal says:
Yea, It's a Hurricane. To go out in a Hurricane is like driving drunk. You can be a good person but make that one mistake that ends your life.

Sept. 23, 2013, 7:06 pm

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