Family mourns loss of young brothers electrocuted in Fort Worth
FORT WORTH, Texas - There's new information about whether the city or Oncor knew about the downed power line that electrocuted two kids at a Fort Worth park Wednesday night. But not all the answers their family is looking for about why the line was not taken care of have been provided.
11-year-old Isaiah Lopez and his 12-year-old brother, Alex, were killed Wednesday after coming into contact with the wire in a wooded area at Oakland Place Park.
The boys' uncle says the two brothers were inseparable. The youngest died trying to save his older brother.
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Oncor says it's investigating why a live power line was still down many hours after the storm.
In the meantime, the family of the two little boys is trying to come to grips with what happened. The spot where Alex and Isaiah died was an undeveloped part of the park near their grandmother's home.
Fort Worth Police Officer Jorge Lopez is the boys’ uncle. He says Alex was walking the trails with a friend. Isaiah was skateboarding nearby.
"Somehow, Alex made contact with the downed wire, and it was live and started to be electrocuted,” he explained. “The boy ran to get Isaiah to run and get help and Isaiah said, ‘No, I’m going to go help my brother.’ And next thing you know, he’s involved in it too.”
Lopez says the brothers were rambunctious and studious. Alex was becoming interested in playing football. His younger brother, Isaiah, was a wiz at video games. They attended International Leadership Academy of Texas in North Richland Hills.
While the brothers' loved ones are grieving, the family also urges caution regarding power lines, especially with children.
"As a family, we're still in shock. It’s still not real to most of us,” Jorge said. “It’s not real to me yet, trying to hold things together and be strong for everybody."
Oncor says it finds out about downed power lines through power outages or someone sees the line and reports it or it learns about it from first responders. In this case, the city said it did not receive a report about the downed line.
“We do assess damage,” said Kyle Falkner with the Fort Worth Fire Department. “And as we discover issues like power lines down, we do forward those on to Oncor."
The Fort Worth Parks Department says after the storms, crews began checking playgrounds and similar areas for hazards at the more than 200 parks in the city, including Oakland Lake Park. But they did not check the wooded, undeveloped easement at the north end of the park.
"There was no need to move into that area there because that a very remote area of the park,” said Fort Worth Parks Director Richard Zavala.
Oncor says the storm brought down trees and power lines all over North Texas and that a downed power line is always a priority regardless of the location.