11-Year-Old, Lauren Cecil, Electrocuted At Lexington Pool

6:11 PM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: 11-Year-Old Electrocuted In Lexington Pool
  • Brookside Swim Club in Lexington, NC, the day after 11-year-old Lauren Cecil was fatally electrocuted. July 17, 2013.

Lexington, N.C. -- An evening at swim practice turned deadly for an 11-year-old girl in Davidson County.

Lauren Cecil was electrocuted while swimming in the pool at the Brookside Swim Club, Tuesday, around 8 p.m.

A power line snapped about fifty feet away from the pool. The electricity traveled through the ground and sent a high voltage current through the water. The president of Brookside Swim Club, Julie Rhodes, told WFMY News 2 people at the pool heard a big "pop" and saw a power line near the road in front of the swim club fall in the parking lot. 

Rhodes sent a lifeguard to the parking lot to check the wire. They were concerned it would pose a danger to parents and children in the parking lot leaving practice. The wire did not fall into the pool.

Rhodes said there were four to six kids in the pool at the time of the pop, and about three remained in the pool in the moments before the electric shock went through the water. They were not immediately told to get out because the wire had not fallen in the pool and did not pose an immediate threat.

When some of the children started saying the pool felt "funny," lifeguards told them to get out. Two of the children jumped out; Lauren grabbed the ladder by the 3-foot deep end of the pool.  

Lifeguards, a swim coach and Rhodes were shocked with electricity when they tried to grab Lauren from the ladder. They kept her head out of the water with a boogey board, until they could pull her out.  

Lauren's mother was at the pool and witnessed the event. Rhodes said she ran over to her daughter when she started struggling.

Davidson EMS arrived and did CPR until they got Lauren to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Some of the other children who had been in the pool with Lauren were checked out by EMS at the pool and were not transported to the hospital for additional treatment.

The pool remains closed, but the power has been shut off and no electrical charge remains in the water.

Greensboro Science Center employee Roger Joyner explained how something like this could happen,"Cows have been electrocuted by lightning when they weren't even struck by it...I've heard of cases where they are gathered under a tree in a thunderstorm. Lightning hits the tree, runs down and radiates out through the ground just like this wire did. The difference in voltage between their front and back legs produces enough current that it kills them."

Rhodes said Lauren was a happy child who was training hard Tuesday night during one of the last practices before the Davidson County Swim Championships this weekend. 

Lauren's swim coach says the family wants this weekend's swim meet to go on as planned.

Coach Clay Vickers says the meet begins at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Denton Swim Club. Vickers says team members will wear Lauren's initials on their swim caps.

The Davidson County Sheriff's Office is investigating this incident.

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