Board of Public Utilities investigates after woman’s death when PSE&G cut power

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The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will conduct an investigation into an incident in which a Newark woman on an oxygen machine died after PSE&G cut off her power over an unpaid balance.

Linda Daniels, 68, died last week during a heat wave in New Jersey. Family members say that Daniels’ home became very hot and that she struggled to breathe once the power was turned off.

The family tells News 12 New Jersey that they paid a portion of the outstanding bill two days before PSE&G turned off the power.

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"As part of our investigation, we are in the process of gathering all appropriate information in order to determine how this could have occurred,” a spokesperson for the agency said.

PSE&G said they are reviewing their records, and have not issued additional comment.

News 12 has learned that Daniels once sought assistance through the group La Casa de Don Pedro in 2007. The group helps low-income people pay their utility bills.

“A person can always come in, they can call and find out what the requirements are,” says outreach coordinator Kim Robinson. “People that have fallen behind, they can come here to the agency and one of the intake workers will help them fill out an application.”

People who rely on oxygen tanks and CPAP machines can also fill out a form that prevents utility companies from turning off power. The form is known as a Priority 4.

“Once they have that form filled out and they take it to the doctor and the doctor fills it out and faxes it to PSE&G, PSE&G is not allowed to turn their lights off,” Robinson says.

Daniels’ family says that PSE&G was aware that she had breathing apparatuses.

Daniel’s funeral will be held Wednesday.

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