MONROE, Mich. (FOX 2) - In Monroe a family is mourning the loss of their 14-year-old daughter who was electrocuted after touching a downed power line she thought was a stick.
Elizabeth Jacobsen's family said the past 24 hours have been surreal - they had been preparing to send her off to high school but now are planning her funeral.
"I had to feel her soul one last time, where it left her body," said her father Edward Jacobsen. "It helped with the closure."
Edward Jacobsen took a few moments to gather himself where his 14-year-old daughter died.
"Even though she was a girl, she loved being into cars, a very big tomboy, she helped me build a hot rod that I race," he said.
Now only her blanket, her belongings and other memories will remain above ground when Jacobsen and Martha Jean Hunter bury her next week.
"Everybody knew who she was, everyone loved her," said her mom, Martha Jean Hunter. "She was an outdoors, girl, an animal lover. Like, she wanted to be a police officer when she got older. She had her life figured out at 14."
Elizabeth Jacobsen died in the backyard of her home in Monroe Monday evening after coming into contact with a downed wire during a power outage. She and her friend were out for a walk.
"They were talking about boys, music, like girl stuff," her mom said. "The next thing I know, her girlfriend comes running in, saying Elizabeth is on the ground, she got shocked.
First responders found Elizabeth still in contact with the downed wire when they arrived.
"I did not know there was a power line down," Hunter said. "If I would have known that, I would have also reported that, and made sure that my daughter and her best friend didn't go outside.
With outages expected to remain for a few days, Edward and Martha Jean are encouraging others to take all precautions when it comes to down wires
"Anytime you get a windstorm or a thunderstorm comes through, or you have power lines nearby, the power goes out, just stay in the house," said Edward. "Stay in the house and call, so this doesn't happen again."
DTE is reminding people to stay at least 20 feet away from downed wires and whatever those wires may be in contact with.
The energy company provided a statement which reads in part:
"Our hearts go out today to the families and friends of the 14-year-old girl who was fatally injured after touching a downed power line in Monroe last night, as well as the young boy who is in critical condition who also touched a downed wire in Warren this morning. We beg our customers to stay aware from down wires and to warn their children as well. Especially now that some schools are back in session. Energized lines may be hidden by debris as well."
DTE is helping cover the cost Elizabeth Jacobsen’s funeral. The family has a GoFundMe page to help cover additional costs, at this link.
Edward Jacobsen, inset: His daughter Elizabeth Jacobsen who died after touching a live wire accidentally.
The full statement from DTE is below:
DTE Energy Statement
"Our hearts go out today to the families and friends of the 14-year-old girl who was fatally injured after touching a downed power line in Monroe last night, as well as the young boy who is in critical condition who also touched a downed wire in Warren this morning.
"It appears both of the downed lines were a result of strong winds and rain that came through southeast Michigan last night. We are working closely with local officials to continue to investigate each of these tragic situations.
"We beg our customers to stay aware from down wires...and to warn their children as well. Especially now that some schools are back in session. Energized lines may be hidden by debris as well.
"Power lines are extremely dangerous. Treat every downed power line as if it is energized and take the following precautions:
"Stay an ambulance-length – at least 20 feet – away from all power lines and anything they’re in contact with – always consider them live and dangerous.
"Always heed the warning of yellow caution tape, which indicates there is a downed power line in the area. DO NOT CROSS YELLOW CAUTION TAPE.
"Report downed by visiting outage.dteenergy.com or by calling 911.
"For more information on power line safety, please go to www.dteenergy.com/safety. "