Teen dies climbing Durham electrical tower
Posted January 29, 2012
Updated January 30, 2012
Durham, N.C. — A 14-year-old boy died Saturday while climbing an electrical tower near Jordan High School in Durham, police said Sunday.
Authorities found the teen's body Saturday afternoon in a wooded area near the dead-end on King Charles Road. Neighbors said he was electrocuted, but police said the cause of death was still under investigation.
Investigators did say, however, that the death was accidental. Utility crews spent Sunday afternoon working on power lines at the scene.
Trinity School officials identified the boy Monday as Blake Hubbard, a ninth-grader at the private Durham school.
"(Blake) and his entire family have been integral and beloved members of the Trinity community, and we mourn his untimely and tragic death," Headmaster Peter Denton Jr. said in a statement. "Trinity is marshaling its resources and those of the wider community to provide care and guidance for students, staff and parents in this difficult time."
Neighbor William Chesser said Hubbard was with two friends when he decided to climb the tower.
"We heard a loud pop that we could hear all the way up in the house," Chesser said. "A few minutes later, we heard the sirens and the fire truck come down. When we saw the fire truck, we had a feeling that something was probably wrong."
Neighbors told investigators that the two friends raced out of the woods to meet emergency crews and that they were frantic. One of the boys said he told Hubbard not the climb the tower, which is marked with a sign reading, "Danger. Keep Away. High Voltage."
"The boys were back in the woods near that tower, and one of the boys (was) electrocuted and had fallen. That's what we heard," Chesser said.
He added that he was "horrified" by the accident.
"Horrified for the families obviously, horrified for the boys who had to experience that," he said.