A 15-year-old Indiana boy who was apparently trying to recreate a science experiment he saw on YouTube died after he ended up electrocuting himself, police said.
Emergency crews were sent to a home in Vermillion Township about 6 p.m. Tuesday after the teen’s mother found him on the ground and called 911, KTLA sister station WJW in Cleveland reported.
Morgan Wojciechowski’s mother entered the garage, where her son was working on a science experiment, because she smelled something, another Cleveland station, WOIO, reported.
“There were injuries that were consistent with electricity flowing through someone’s body, on hands, feet and chest,” said Detective Robert Rieger of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.
Wojciechowski was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The local school district released a statement, which read in part:
On behalf of Vermilion Schools we would like the greater community to know that we are brokenhearted about this tragic loss to our school community. Morgan was a vibrant student and athlete who was well liked at Vermilion High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with Morgan’s family, and we continue to be available for anything they need.
The victim’s family believes it was Wojciechowski’s fascination with a video on YouTube that led to his death, CNN reported.
“YouTube was the culprit and it needs to be stopped. We need to monitor what’s going on and what’s being put out there for the kids,” his step-grandfather said.
The experiment Woceichowski was trying to duplicate is called Jacob’s Ladder, according to CNN.
It uses a power source, two copper wires and some other connections to create a 12,000-volt surge of electricity.
Wojciechowski had been getting things ready for his experiment when he was electrocuted, CNN reported.
“It’s been going on for quite a while. He has been gathering things. He had a real interest in how things happen,” the step-grandfather said.
Wojciechowski was described by family members as an inquisitive young man who wanted to be a scientist.
His family hopes his death will be used as a teachable moment for parents to monitor what their children see and do when going on to the Internet.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the victim’s last name. The story has been updated.