Tragically, 15-year-old teenager was electrocuted in Detroit by a DTE power line while working on the roof of a warehouse on the west side. The victim was identified as Manuel Ramos-Pelayo Jr.
Family members have reported that young Manuel Pelayo was earning money by helping a friend who was a tenant in the building. He was helping to clean up the warehouse and to prevent break-ins when he came into contact with a high voltage power line that belonged to Detroit Edison.
Manuel Ramos-Pelayo Jr. died at the scene of the accident.
The warehouse in Detroit where this teenager was electrocuted was located near Highland Park on the 14000 block of Woodrow Wilson, near Oakman Boulevard and the Lodge Freeway.
Media has reported that DTE issued a statement explaining that the source of the fatal electrical charge was “DTE’s overhead power line.”
But as an electrocution lawyer, what I want to know is why a DTE power line was positioned this way, whether the vertical and horizontal clearances were compliant with the National Electrical Safety Code, and whether under Schultz v Consumer’s Power, 443 Mich 445, 406 N.W. 2nd 175 (1993), DTE breached its duty to inspect, and to maintain its overhead powerline in reasonable repair, and in safe condition under the circumstances.
Over the past 35 years, I have litigated several electrocution wrongful death lawsuits with DTE and I have a catastrophic injury case with DTE right now that also involves their negligence in relation to their overhead electrical infrastructure.
Unquestionably, with this tragic loss, the facts and circumstances that led to this teenager being electrocuted in Detroit must be promptly and thoroughly investigated, and likely litigated.
Teenager electrocuted in Detroit highlights danger of power lines
As I have said many times, if you encounter or become aware of a power line – especially one that is somewhere unexpected, or where you think it should not be, such as on the ground – stay away, keep others away and call 911 immediately. Always assume power lines are energized and deadly, and stay as far away from them as possible. Even if they have a black covering on them, they should all be presumed to be uninsulated.
Because of the high voltage electricity running through them, power lines owned by electric utilities such as DTE are extremely dangerous, and will cause death or serious personal injury. That’s why utilities such as DTE are required by law to keep power lines well out of reach of people – by placing them high in the air atop utility poles or buried deep in the ground.
DTE goes promptly to the scene of electrocution and electrical injury events that involve their power lines, with legal investigators and other resources at their disposal, to investigate. It is crucial that the family of the teenager electrocuted in Detroit promptly enlists and dispatches its own attorneys and investigation, to protect his interests, and assure that the truth is learned.
Need help from an experienced electrocution lawyer?
If you or someone you love is a victim of serious personal injury or death caused by electricity, please call us toll free at (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation.