Teen in critical condition after touching downed power line

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A 14-year-old boy is in critical condition after touching a downed power line. Authorities originally told 7 Action News the teen was dead at the scene.

Police however said the victim was resuscitated at the hospital and has a faint pulse.

Monday evening he was transported to the hospital in Ann Arbor where he is breathing on his own.  His stepmother Leonie Shanks said her stepson, 14-year-old Malik Shelton, is fighting for his life right now. 

"He's fighting.  He's a strong fighter.  I just hope he gets well," said Shanks.  She said the teen's lungs are filling up with fluid just as fast as doctors can drain them.

"He's just holding on.  These next 24 hours will probably be critical, " said Shanks.

It happened on the 14000 block of Lyndon when sources say Shelton became entangled in the power lines.

The victim's friends say they were walking home after they were told school was canceled. That's when the victim reached up and touched a downed power line.

"That's when Malik, he ducked, and he grabbed the wire and he started shaking and there was blood coming out of his nose and it went to his head," said 10-year-old Carlos Morgan.  Morgan was with Malik when he got shocked.  He and another teen rushed into action to help their friend with a stick and a two-by-four they found in the lot.

"We were like, wham, bam, bam, then he let go," said Morgan.

The principal saw the victim's friends trying to help and flagged down fire crews to help pull the teen from under the wire.

Detroit police gave Morgan a patch for his bravery.  The boy said he feels like a hero, but most importantly, he just cares about his friend.  "I hope he's okay," he said.

Malik is an 8th grader at Burns Elementary/Middle School. According to a spokesperson, all EAA Detroit schools were closed because of power issues and the first notice went out at 6 a.m. 

Malik's family was one of many who did not see the notice until after students walked to school.

Since downed power lines are so very common during a storm, Malik's family wants other kids and teens to be warned.

"Stay away from live wires.  If you see anything hanging or falling don't go near it don't touch it, don't take no chances," said Shanks.


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