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Two severely burned after touching high-voltage wire

Posted June 7, 2010
Updated June 12, 2010

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— A man and woman were severely injured early Monday after scaling a fence surrounding an electrical substation and being shocked by 23,000 volts of electricity, Wake County sheriff's investigators said.

Two burned after entering electrical substation Two burned after entering electrical substation

Brian Griffin Rey, 22, of 5500 Edgebury Road, was listed Saturday in critical condition at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Amber Leigh Mills, 21, of 2330-103 Centennial Ridge Way, was also at the burn center in fair condition.

Investigators said the two climbed over the fence at the Progress Energy substation at 3300 Tryon Road after midnight.

Friends said the two were at a party at a neighboring apartment complex when they disappeared.

Multiple witnesses said they saw two people inside the fence around the substation. After hearing an explosion, several rushed to help and were able to help Mills over the fence.

Others stayed with Rey until medical help arrived.

Mills returned to the apartment, traumatized and badly burned, and took a shower to soothe the burns, friends reported.

Sheriff Donnie Harrison said that although the case is still under investigation, there is evidence that alcohol was a factor in the case. No charges had been filed Monday afternoon.

About 12,000 Progress Energy customers were temporarily without power Monday morning, spokesman Mike Hughes said, and the substation incurred tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Progress Energy officials said they had no idea why the people would have wanted to get inside the facility.

"The substation is very, very clearly marked. There are more than 30 signs around the perimeter of the substation – in English and Spanish," Hughes said. "It's got an 8-foot-tall fence – the highest foot is barbed wire. Fortunately, to most people that does indicate it's something you need to stay away from."


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  • gkyoungg Jun 9, 2010

    I can't say i know Brian, but from the 15 minutes i spent with him after he nearly killed himself i can say he was a decent person who made a mistake. If you have never made a mistake than please take your rightful seat beside The Creator... To clarify, Amber was climbing the fence within 30 seconds after the incident. I caught her as she fell blindly over the other side. When my roommates arrived and called the ambulance, Amber had already disappeared into the dark.

  • shortcake53 Jun 8, 2010

    I agree PanthersFan, and lynnie, apparantly you spend considerable time on here too...........

  • PanthersFan45 Jun 8, 2010

    I see some people poking fun at the 2, some are defending them. My opinion is in the middle I guess ..... this was plain stupidity as there are signs clearly posted warning people to not enter. Standing on a transformer in the middle of the night after drinking ? Not smart !!!

  • lynnie7149 Jun 8, 2010

    I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about everyone else on this page. I'm sorry I'm not calm enough while my friend could still die and people are sitting here complaining about progress energy having to pay for the damages. Like they can't afford it. I'm just not really sure who spends they're time sitting here arguing with someone who obviously is concerned with the safety of those who were physically hurt by the accident, not financially. At no point did I say I was specifically referring to anyone on this blog.

  • shortcake53 Jun 8, 2010

    lynnie, show me where I said they should be charged fees. Do not quote me unless you know what you are talking about. And they put THEMSELVES through hell, we didnt do it to them. Calm down and realize what your saying for goodness sake.

  • lynnie7149 Jun 8, 2010

    Well whats the point in giving your opinion if it can't be disputed? Welcome to corporate America, where property is worth more than human life. Glad you like arguing about whether or not they should be charged the fees when obviously they've been put through hell. I don't even know why I posted on here in the first place, I suppose to defend the honor of a great guy. But honestly he doesn't need defending against random people who feel they can judge someone by reading an online article about them.

  • shortcake53 Jun 8, 2010

    lynnie, you cant call other's posts "snarky" when you are doing the same thing,which is giving your opinion. same as the rest of us.

  • lynnie7149 Jun 8, 2010

    Obviously it was stupid, but it also wasn't done with any of kind of malicious intent which apparently is something strangers on this page have plenty of. Saying things like "they deserve it" is completely uncalled for. And bringing all this religious discussion in is ridiculous, this has nothing to do with God judging them or judging me for calling people heartless for making comments such as those that have been made. The people who sit on pages like this to make snarky comments because they get some kind of thrill through nameless abuse of people who they do not even know obviously need some kind of help. There is a divide between legal and moral issues here, yes they caused damage but no they don't deserve to be in a critical state in the hospital because of it.

  • shortcake53 Jun 8, 2010

    lynnie, you forgot to mention that this was seriously stupid. they didnt just wander in there, they had to work pretty hard at it, so I dont believe it qualifies as a "mistake". sorry it happened to them and I do hope they improve, but the seriousness needs to be impressed on anyone else who ever considers doing the same thing.

  • lynnie7149 Jun 8, 2010

    In seriousness, how callous do you have to be to sit here and judge a stranger who made a mistake and is obviously paying dearly for it? You think that if they knew what would happen they would've done this? Of course not. For the people who have gotten on here just to say they deserve what they got, obviously you are not thinking about how you would feel if this happened to someone you loved. Think before you speak, people were seriously hurt and this is a serious issue. Human lives are a little more important than losing power for a couple hours.