MONROE, Mich. – A 14-year-old Michigan girl was electrocuted by a downed power line outside her home after a wave of severe thunderstorms moved through the area Monday evening.
When first responders arrived on the scene at about 7:40 p.m., they found the Monroe teen still in contact with the energized electrical line, which fell as a result of a passing storm.
DTE Energy crews were contacted and disconnected the power lines, so emergency workers could attend to the victim.
Detectives with the Monroe Police Detectives said the girl was walking with a friend in the backyard of her home and believed that they could smell a bonfire. The victim reached for what she thought was a stick. However, it was the charged electrical line.
Police said the girl's family was home at the time of the accident.
Severe Thunderstorm Watches and Warnings checkered the Midwest throughout the day as storms lit up ahead of a cold front sweeping across the U.S. With ravaging wind gusts reaching 70 mph, the storms left over 640,000 power outages across the state, according to poweroutage.us.
DTE Energy reminds customers knowing what to do when they see downed power lines can save their lives, but spotting a downed line isn’t always easy. Sometimes wires can get wrapped in trees or are hidden by tall weeds and grass or under heavy snowfall. That’s why safety experts suggest "looking up before you go out."
Not all live lines spark, smoke or buzz. A silent black wire can still send a deadly shock and may be energizing the surrounding ground.
The safest thing to do to avoid serious injury or even death is to maintain at least a 20-foot distance from the line – that’s about the length of an ambulance – and dial 911. If possible, warn others to stay away from the area until utility crews or first responders arrive.
Be sure to download the FOX Weather app to track any storms in your area and receive potentially life-saving weather alerts issued by the National Weather Service. The free FOX Weather livestream is also available 24/7 on the website and app and on your favorite streaming platform. The FOX Weather Update podcast also provides weather information for the entire country.