6-year-old Edwin Diaz died after he was electrocuted at his home on Oak Crest Drive about 11 a.m. on July 4, according to Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler.
“What we suspect is electrical shock. He got out of the pool and apparently touched the side of the trailer [home] and he went down,” Fowler said. “One of the other kids saw it, got the mother and the mother told investigators later that when she tried to pick him up, she got shocked through his body. It became clear to us that it was electricity given what the mother said.”
Fowler said the boy was taken to the hospital, but did not survive.
Fowler brought a licensed electrician to the scene who said the type of breaker box the family had was dangerous.
“He told me that the Federal Pacific breaker box, when they run across one, they tell homeowners they need to get rid of them because they’re dangerous. They’re out of business, so you can’t sue anybody,” Fowler said. “He chased it down to this socket where someone had taken the ground wire and wrapped it around the leg of the 240-volt and shoved it back in the wall. What should have happened is it should have tripped the breaker, but it did not. So given the fact that it didn’t trip the breaker, it energized the trailer house. The mother said the last two or three weeks she would notice when she would touch things in the house, she would get a little bit of a shock.”
According to a Washington Post article, Federal Pacific breaker boxes were installed in homes built from 1960 to 1985 and when tested, 51 percent failed to trip.
Fowler said he wants to warn the public about these breaker boxes.
“This is a very old type of breaker box and they’re not used anymore,” Fowler said.
Diaz was a student at Aledo ISD’s McCall Elementary School and had just finished kindergarten, according to the AISD communications department.
“Edwin was a great son, brother and friend who always made everyone laugh and gave the best hugs. He loved to build and create ‘masterpieces’ with Legos and blocks,” according to a release from AISD communications. “Edwin could often be found patting a friend on the back, reassuring them everything would be okay. Please continue to pray for Edwin’s family, friends and teachers, as we remember him with love and miss him dearly.”
According to AISD, memorial services for Diaz will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Stephen Catholic Church at 1802 Bethel Road in Weatherford.