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Published August 25, 2012, 08:25 AM

Relatives of electrocution victim see her as a hero

LOS ANGELES—Relatives of Stacey L. Schreiber, a Valley Village woman who died trying to save others after a fiery traffic accident this week, remembered her Friday as a warm, loving person who always did her best to help others.

By: Rebecca Trounson and Sam Quinones,Los Angeles Times, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES—Relatives of Stacey L. Schreiber, a Valley Village woman who died trying to save others after a fiery traffic accident this week, remembered her Friday as a warm, loving person who always did her best to help others.

“She was just very giving of everything she had to the world,” Karina Kausch, 33, said of Schreiber, her older sister. “She wanted it to be a better place and she did that by example. And she did that obviously in this case.”

Schreiber, 39, was identified by authorities Friday as one of two women electrocuted when they came into contact with water electrified in the aftermath of the accident Wednesday. The driver of an SUV heading west lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a light standard and fire hydrant.

The light pole’s cables were cut in the accident. Los Angeles Fire Department officials estimate that the water that poured from the hydrant had some 4,800 volts of electricity running through it from contact with the current.

Los Angeles police Friday identified the SUV driver as Arman Samsonian, 19, of Glendale. Police said they are continuing to investigate the actions that led to the crash and whether Samsonian’s conduct involved possible reckless driving.

Schreiber lived in an apartment complex a few yards from the accident scene.

The name of the second woman killed, Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank, was released earlier. Fire officials said Zamora and her husband had stopped their car and Zamora had run to try to help Schreiber. Six others who also rushed to help were injured by touching the water.

Kausch, a quality engineer who lives in St. Paul, Minn., said she always looked to Schreiber as a protector. “I’ll always remember how strong she was in everything we went through, when our dad passed away, and even when she defended me from a bunch of bullies when I was 6 years old,” Kausch said.

Schreiber’s mother, Barbara Kausch of Denver, said her older daughter had moved to California about four years ago and worked for FM Global Insurance. Kausch said Schreiber’s boss had become worried about her when she didn’t show up for work Thursday and went looking for her, eventually identifying her body.

“She gave her life for someone else,” Barbara Kausch said of Schreiber. “It doesn’t ease my pain necessarily to know that, but I am so very proud of the woman that my daughter became.”

Karina Kausch, whose birthday was Friday, said she had planned to celebrate with friends by going out, dressed up as superheroes. “We’ve decided we’re still going to do that — we just have a different reason for it now,” she said. “She’s my hero.”

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