Girl’s electrocution spurs safety campaign
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Jan. 14 2008
Last summer’s accidental electrocution of an Edwardsville girl has spurred a
new public-awareness campaign.
The Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program says the death of
12-year-old Caitlyn MacKenzie could help prevent electricity-related accidents.
Caitlyn was electrocuted last June when she stepped out of the pool at a
friend’s home in Troy and touched a metal lamp. She had partly dried off when
she grabbed the light to move it closer to a trampoline.
***The message talks about the importance of having ground fault circuit ***
***interupters installed on outlets both inside and outside the home near sinks ***
and wet areas.
Caitlyn had just finished the sixth grade at Liberty Middle School in
Scott and Jamie MacKenzie, Caitlyn’s father and stepmother, and Teresa and Bob
Orasco, her mother and stepfather, appear in a five-minute public service
announcement put out by Safe Electricity. Their message also will be featured
in radio spots and on billboards.
The theme is TLC: Teach what you know, Learn what you need to, and Care enough
to share it with those you love.
In that taped message, the family shows photos and videos of a carefree
Caitlyn. Then, they talk about the night of her death and the impact of her
“You don’t want to lose your children like this,” a tearful Teresa Orasco says.
“You don’t want to lose them at all. Do whatever you can to keep it from
Scott MacKenzie recalls the night of the accident, when he rushed to the
“I was just on my knees in the corner praying,” Scott MacKenzie says. “Never
thought from a simple household electrical outlet that something like this
could happen. Not in a million years.”
Caitlyn’s stepmother, Jamie MacKenzie, says. "You need to be smart around
electricity. I wish we would really have drove that point home, because Caitlyn
knew it, but I don’t think we talked about it regularly enough.
“You tell your kids, ‘Don’t talk to strangers,’ ‘Look both ways before you
cross the road.’ All that kind of stuff,” Jamie MacKenzie says. “But how many
times did we tell her, ‘Be careful when you plug in plugs or flip on switches
or mess with electricty.’”