Federal safety regulators investigating electrocution of teen in - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Federal safety regulators investigating electrocution of teen involving cell phone in bathtub

Madison Coe (Source: Family members) Madison Coe (Source: Family members)

Federal safety regulators are investigating the death of a 14-year-old Lubbock, TX girl whose family says she was electrocuted in a bathtub at her father's home in Lovington, NM.

The family says her death involved a cell phone that had been plugged in to power.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is sending two investigators to Lovington to inspect the phone, plug, charger, outlet and the extension cord, if one was involved. 

Madison Coe's mother and grandmother say she was in the bathtub, and either plugged her phone in or simply grabbed her phone that was already plugged in. 

"There was a burn mark on her hand, the hand that would have grabbed the phone. And that was just very obvious that that’s what had happened," O'Guinn said. 

Madison's family believes this terrible accident is something that could happen to anyone. 

EMS and Police in Lovington, NM were called to a home in the 800 block of West Ave. H for reports of an unresponsive female at 12:24 a.m. on Sunday, July 9. Police say emergency personnel attempted life-saving measures at the scene, during transport, and at the hospital. The girl was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later. 

The Lovington Police Department released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico issued a preliminary finding in the case saying the cause of death was electrocution.

"The incident remains under investigation as to how this occurred. As previously stated, a cellular telephone, a phone charger cord and an extension cord were found at the scene. The Criminal Investigations Division of the Lovington Police Department is conducting the investigation with the assistance of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission."

When asked for a comment, the CPSC said:

CPSC is investigating this tragic incident. Here are some safety tips from CPSC:

  • Water and electricity do not mix.
  • Never use cord-connected appliances while in the bathtub.  
  • Never charge your phone near water.
  • Install GFCI’s (ground fault circuit interrupters) in bathrooms and in the kitchen to protect against electrocution.  Test them regularly to make sure they are working properly.

Here is our GFCI Fact Sheet for more info on GFCI protection.  https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/099_0.pdf

There will be a memorial service for Madison Coe on Saturday, July 15, at 2 p.m. at Kings Ridge Church of Christ in Lubbock. The address is 4201 98th Street. There will be a balloon/candlelight memorial following the memorial service, 6:30 p.m. at Terra Vista Middle School for all who would like to attend. The family says they will release balloons and share memories. The balloons will be orange, Madison's favorite color.

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