Rockford teen tries to alert family, is electrocuted

At approximately 11:00 p.m. on June 18, 2009 a utility pole in front of 12779 Wabasis Ave NE, in Oakfield Township, was sparking and fell to the ground. Sixteen-year-old Christopher O’Neill, who lives across the street, was outside with other family members and heard a loud popping sound and saw a brilliant flash. He thought the house across the street at 12779 was on fire. He knew there was a family of seven that resided there including several young children.

He ran across the street to alert them. The power was out in the area and there were no lights on due to the downed power line. As Christopher ran to assist his neighbors he ran into a downed power line, was electrocuted, and died.     

The house at 12779 Wabasis Ave. did not catch on fire as a result of the downed power line and arcing transformer.

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