BLACKFOOT, Idaho -

Idaho Power released the following statement on Thursday's deadly accident in Blackfoot, in which three people died after stepping into a ditch. The water was electrified due to a broken ground wire.

"The deaths of three Blackfoot residents last Thursday night were a terrible event. On behalf of our over 2,000 employees across southern Idaho, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families of Jackie Poulson, Keith Tarpley and Lance Hicks, and to their community and many friends, in this heartbreaking loss.

"Idaho Power has cooperated fully with local law enforcement and interested parties to determine what caused the accident. Preliminary information from those investigations has revealed an unfortunate sequence of events. Tree contact, exacerbated by windy conditions, damaged both our and a customer’s electrical equipment. This led to a ground wire being energized, sending current from the source along approximately a quarter mile of the customer’s buried conductor to the site of the accidents.

"Idaho Power holds integrity and safety among its core values. We are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of energy to the communities we serve. Consistent with these values we will perform a thorough evaluation of this accident, which may continue for an extended period. We have and will cooperate with all investigating agencies and work diligently through all the established processes for resolution of the serious needs and concerns of those involved.

"At the end of the investigation, we will fulfill any obligations or responsibilities relating to our facilities’ involvement as part of this terrible accident."