Electrical shock harms bicyclist


The Sports Center’s stationary bicycle room where Johnston was injured.

Dylan Johnson, News Editor

After she was electrically shocked in the Sports Center Nov. 1, student Emily Johnston said she now is so afraid of electrical outlets that she asks her friends to plug in all of her electrical items, including her cell phone charger.

Johnston, a stationary-bicycle-riding class instructor, was unplugging a radio at the end of the session and was shocked.

Student Yaminah Jones witnessed the incident and said that Johnston fell to the floor and couldn’t move for 20 minutes.

Jones said that speakers fell off of the wall and she thought Johnston was hit by a speaker.  Jones then said that Johnston’s left hand was shaking, and she couldn’t move.

Student Brittany Tart asked a Sports Center trainer for help.  The physical trainer was concerned mostly with figuring out which wire shocked Johnston, Jones said.

Tart then asked a student at the front desk for help, then a basketball coach.  Jones said the coach stayed away from Johnston and left when campus police arrived.

Jones said students called Richland Township police, who said that the incident was a campus police issue.

Campus police arrived after 20 minutes and, according to Jones, mishandled the situation.

Jones also said Johnston was still numb while police were trying to ask her questions, and one officer pulled on various wires to see which wire was faulty.

After talking to Johnston for 10 minutes, Jones said police had Johnston walk to their police car.

“They didn’t even get her a wheelchair,” said Jones.

Johnston said that police told her that it wasn’t that big of an issue.  She also said that she was conscious for the incident, but she doesn’t remember anything.

Johnston said police transported her to Windber Medical Center, where she was tested for three hours.

Johnston said she was shaking and numb for two days, and her hands hurt too much to even type.

Campus police were unavailable for comment.