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Investigation Into Brothers Deaths

Valley Springs, CA — Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department is looking into whether yesterday’s massive power outage spanning three counties contributed to the deaths of twin brothers. 22-year-old Ryan and Joshua Hall of Rancho Calaveras suffered from muscular dystrophy, and they used breathing ventilators for life support. A 911 call went out from their home on 5000 block of Rippon Road at 4 pm. It was during the time there was a widespread power outage that covered parts of Calaveras County.

When deputies arrived they found the brothers in respiratory distress. The deputies began CPR. EMS also responded to the scene and took over the life saving efforts, but both brothers died at the scene. Now investigators are trying to determine if the power outage played a role in their deaths.


Sgt. Chris Hewitt says, “Right now we don’t have any information to attribute yesterday’s power outage to their deaths. Of course that is something we have to take into consideration, but right now we don’t have evidence to suggest the power outage was the cause of their death or possible failure of their ventilators.”


PG&E Spokesperson Nicole Liebelt says, “This is a tragic situation and our hearts go out to their family during this difficult time. We do know there was a widespread outage and it did affect this area. However, PG&E cannot guarantee electrical service 100% of the time and some incidents are out of our hands.”


Liebelt says the electricity was out in the Valley Springs area for 45 minutes yesterday.


Detectives have taken the ventilators for examination. The brother’s autopsies are scheduled for tomorrow to determine their cause of death. The men’s mother, Julia Hall, was with them when they died. She is cooperating with the investigation. There is no word on whether the home was equiped with a generator.


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