Detroit Teen Critical After Touching Downed Power Line

DETROIT (WWJ) – A 14-year-old Detroit boy is hospitalized in critical condition after he grabbed a live wire.

Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said the teen walked to Burns Elementary Middle School Monday morning to find that class was canceled due to a power outage.

While walking with friends through a field on his way back home, the boys encountered downed power lines near Marlowe Street at Lyndon and Hubbell.

Police said the three boys who were with the teen should be considered heroes because they got the wire off their friend by using a piece of wood.

One of those boys was 10-year-old Carlos Morgan.

“It was hanging in that tree, the bushes over there onto that tree and it was real long and he touched it,” Carlos told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas at the scene. 

“When he touched it, he started shaking,” Carlos said, “so I thought he was playing until I saw smoke coming off his hand … He started shaking and he fell to the ground.”

Detroit police initially told WWJ Newsradio 950 that the teen had been killed.

“Originally it was reported that he was dead on scene, however EMS still rushed him to Grace Hospital,” explained Second Precinct Captain Anthony Topp. “When he got to the hospital, the doctors were able to find a faint pulse, and they’re trying to save his life at this moment.”

Monday afternoon, the teen remained hospitalized.

“I feel real sad for the little boy. I think I know him, but that was a real tragedy and it’s just sad,” said Detroit resident Gwendolyn Gray. “My son was walking with him. I know he’s devastated, you know. I’m devastated myself.”

The boy’s name has not been released.

Power lines were down across the region as DTE Energy worked to restore power to tens of thousands of metro Detroit homes and businesses Monday morning.  An estimated 275,000 DTE customers’ lights went out when gusty storms blew across Southeast Michigan on Sunday. [More HERE].


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