Friends of seventeen-year-old Jesus Meneses have been holding a vigil at the park where he died Monday when he was electrocuted when he chased after a basketball into an electrical substation.
Meneses jumped the fence at a Florida Power and Light substation in Miami near the intersection of NW 47th Avenue and 4th Street Monday evening. Friends who witnessed the accident said Meneses was on fire after he scaled the fence.
“I saw him. His body was burned. His body was burned to the ground and I couldn’t bare to watch,” said friend Jonathan Gomez. “He was my best friend. He was my partner, my good friend, and now he’s gone.”
Friends said it’s not uncommon for kids to jump the fence when basketballs went over the fence, despite the warning signs on the fencing.
“Nobody dared him,” said Areil Carlo. “He jumped over the fence because he chose to.”
Witnesses told NBC 6 that by the time rescue workers were able to get to him, Meneses was already dead. A memorial was erected at the park with candles and a skateboard with the words “RIP Jesus.”
“He’s gone, but know this; he will always be in our hearts no matter what. And I will always care for him,” Gomez said.
Meneses family wants the park removed because of the substation. A petition was started Monday night to call for more safeguards to keep children away from the substation.
Florida Power and Light released a statement on the death and the fence that read: “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of Jesus Meneses. We will continue to work with local authorities as they complete their investigation. We are committed to the public and our employees’ safety, which is one of FPL’s core values.”