Attorney: Doctors hopeful to save 1 leg of man wounded during PG&E detonation

Attorney: Doctors hopeful to save 1 leg of man wounded during PG&E detonation »Play Video
Jerry Wood is seen in a profile photo from his Facebook page.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Jerry Wood, the spectator most severely injured by flying debris during last weekend's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power plant demolition in Bakersfield, is undergoing surgery Friday.

Wood was part of a crowd of bystanders in a shopping center parking lot off Coffee Road. They were there to view the planned implosion of the final structures at the old Kern Power Plant. The 45-foot tall towers contained boilers.

Kern Power Plant operated from 1948 until 1985, when it went into stand-by status. It was permanently closed in 1995. PG&E said it committed to clean up the site after several deals to sell the property fell through.

The detonation sent shrapnel into the crowd gathered to the east. Wood, 43, was the most severely wounded, suffering extensive damage to both legs. An initial police report stated Wood's legs had been severed at the scene, but family members said early this week that he had all of his limbs.

Family attorney Dennis Thelen said Friday that doctors are only optimistic about saving Wood's right leg. Wood is undergoing surgery in San Francisco, and Thelen said Wood faces many more surgeries in the days and months ahead.

Thelen said he's meeting with PG&E officials Friday in San Francisco.

A pair of PG&E subcontractors on the implosion project, Lincoln-based Alpha Explosives and Covina-based Cleveland Wrecking, are under investigation by local and state agencies, including the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.