Police have released a photograph of the last thing a teenage girl from Texas texted before she died while taking a bath at her father’s home in New Mexico on July 9. Fourteen-year-old Madison Coe was soaking in the tub when she sent her friend an ominous snapshot. Moments later, she was dead after making one crucial mistake.
Coe loved to take baths. In fact, according to her step-mother, it wasn’t unusual for the Texas native to spend upwards of two hours soaking in the tub.
When the 14-year-old hopped in the bath at her father’s home in Lovington, New Mexico, on July 9, Coe snapped a photo of her cell phone’s charger plugged into an extension cord, which was on top of a towel on a bath mat. “When you use and [sic] extension cord so you can plug your phone in while you’re in the bath,” she wrote.
Although Coe’s cell phone never became immersed in the bath water, she died shortly after sending the message when she was electrocuted after touching a frayed part of the extension cord that had water in it. She may not have ever known that the cord was frayed, but nonetheless, she paid for it with her life.
The cord was plugged into a non-grounded outlet with no circuit-interrupting safety mechanism, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Lovington Police Department.
The report explains that Coe’s cellphone was never immersed in water, NBC 12 notes.
Officials said the girl died from touching a frayed part of the extension cord that had water in it. [Source: Blue Lives Matter]
According to the New York Daily News, Coe’s parents hope that sharing their daughter’s last text will help prevent similar accidents. They’re aiming to raise awareness around the dangers of texting while bathing, especially among teens.
“She had her phone plugged into the extension cord and it was by the bathtub and I did it, she did it, we all had sat there in the bathtub with our phones plugged in and played our games,” said a heartbroken Felisha Owens, Coe’s step-mother.
“You don’t think to sit in there with a 14-year-old. You don’t micro-manage your kids anymore, but maybe you should?” she added, according to KRQE. “The bathroom is a place for showers and personal time and your phones don’t belong in the bathroom. Electricity and water do not mix. All it takes is a drop.”
Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, and compounding the grief for Madison Coe’s family is the fact that her death was entirely preventable. Please share the teen’s tragic story so that others will be alerted to the dangers of using a cell phone in the tub, especially when it is connected to a source of electricity. Hopefully, if the circumstances surrounding her untimely death reach enough people, another life can be saved.