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16-year-old boy electrocuted in Taylor squirting downed power line with water gun

Posted: 12:13 PM, Jul 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-09 23:50:46-04
16-year-old boy electrocuted in Taylor
16-year-old boy electrocuted in Taylor
16-year-old boy electrocuted in Taylor
16-year-old boy electrocuted in Taylor

7 Action News has learned that a 16-year-old boy was electrocuted in Taylor on Friday night.

Police say Austin Wohlfeil and his 20-year-old brother saw a downed power line in their backyard around 8 p.m.

When his brother went to call their parents, Austin started squirting the line and smoke with a large squirt gun. At some point, we're told, both received a jolt and were knocked down. Austin's brother got back up, but Austin did not. 

We're told the family tried performing CPR, but were unsuccessful. 

DTE Energy released this statement following the incident:

DTE has learned that a young man was tragically electrocuted Friday night in Taylor by coming in contact with a down electrical line as a result of the storms moving through the area Friday evening. This is a tragic incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the young man. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding this event and we have no further details at this time.

The safety of our customers, the public and our employees is our top priority. When electrical equipment is damaged by storms, it can pose a serious hazard. DTE asks all residents to be mindful of their surroundings as crews continue to repair and restore down powerlines throughout the weekend, and practice the following safety procedures:

The company is reminding people of the following safety procedures.

  • Stay 20 feet away from any down line, as the line may still be active
  • Heed the warning of yellow caution tape, which indicates there is a downed power line in the area -- DO NOT CROSS YELLOW CAUTION TAPE and tape protecting areas with downed wires reads: “Danger Live Wire – Keep Away”
  • Be cautious of pets being outside in hard-hit areas
  • Customers can report down lines by using the DTE Energy app, or at dteenergy.com