Local News

Teen dies climbing Durham electrical tower

Posted January 29, 2012
Updated January 30, 2012

— 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.

Durham electrical tower Neighbors: Durham teen electrocuted on power line 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.


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  • cassieharder143 Feb 2, 2012

    PLEASE KEEP YOUR RUDE COMMENTS TO YOURSELF! I was friends Blake, he is my inspiration. He was sweet, caring, lovable, and he always had an adorable smile on his face. He was the perfect example of a Christian. He is a role model and don't you dare say anything like "he should have known better" because you didn't know him! We're you 14 before? Guess not? He loved to be adventurous and fun and this happened to be the outcome. And my school is going through an extremely hard time right now. Blake was so amazing and he was my role model. Don't say rude things because of his mistake. Have a little sympothy.

  • gingerlynn Jan 31, 2012

    macy - I feel horrible too. I posted those comments yesterday in response to some inappropriate comments about assumptions about his family. The comments insulting to his family that prompted my response have been removed. I realize that makes my comments look cruel now but my intentions were good.

  • soyousay Jan 31, 2012

    I mean what did he think. He was going to start wearing a cape and fly thru the air. Well part of that happened. I am not being cruel just honest..

    actually yes you are
    and what exactly made you think he was acting out a super hero fantast. He was a kid, and by defiunition that whole action=consequences is muddy. 18 year olds are great soldier because the don't believe they will die and on and on.
    Actually you know that or you should

  • fkhaywood Jan 30, 2012

    The highest voltage on a transmission line in use today in the USA is 765,000 volts. No lines with that high a voltage are in use in NC. 500,000 volt line are in use all over NC linking large generating plant. Shearon Harris has a least one heading east, there is one crossing NC 210 near McGees Crossroads.
    You can get shocked off of a spark plug wire on a car, typically 65,000 volts, but the amperage is so low that it is not likely to kill.

  • davidvanwagener Jan 30, 2012

    To those who are saying more common sense is needed and that the kids need to be taught ... this has been going on AT LEAST since I was a kid and I am mid-50s. We lost a classmate in 8th grade to something similar. Teenagers think they're invincible and do dumb things on occasion. It really, really stinks, but I would be willing to bet you will read a similar article somewhere next year, in 5 years, etc. My son is at Jordan. Pray for the family and hope his classmates learn something.

  • wildcat Jan 30, 2012

    whocares- not PTA mom
    January 30, 2012 12:25 p.m.


  • 00100111 Jan 30, 2012

    High Voltage Lines and 14 yr old boys don't mix.

  • Malaki Jan 30, 2012

    This is such a tragic accident. My prayers and condolences go out to the family.

  • PTA mom Jan 30, 2012

    whocares- not sure if you are serious about having the school hold assemblies to teach kids common sense but schools have their hands full just trying to teach the basics to todays students. It is up to us as their parents to teach our kids how to get along with others, RESPECT for other people as well as signs etc and good manners. If more of us did our jobs at home then maybe the schools could concentrate solely on math and science and not have to spend time each day on "behavior" lessons and programs to reward correct behavior.

  • wildcat Jan 30, 2012

    Could this teenager read and comprehend what he was reading? Why did he not listen to his friends that was there?