Melquan Robinson was electrocuted when he climbed a fence to get a football he was throwing with friends Monday. Two other boys who tried to save him were injured. Now a community is left reeling, looking for answers to explain this tragedy.
The question we’re all asking… how does this happen?
I’ve talked to a half dozen people in the electricity business. All say there’s a list of things that could have gone wrong…but it’d just be speculation.
I know that is not what so many of you parents want to hear, but the specifics of what went wrong to make the fence hot are not ready. And we’re told they won’t be until the cities investigation is finished.
I talked to two deputies who performed CPR on Melquan and tried to bring him back to life.
Deputies Brent Turner and Alphonso Forrest were on another call when they heard over the radio 1018.
“In reference to electrocutions.”
Which means respond as fast as you can.
“Forrest started doing chest compressions and there was a guy who I was helping, letting him know when to give the little boy breaths and at one point we thought we got him back,” says Deputy Turner. “You know, we hear everybody cheering and it was a good feeling to us because we thought we got him and when I grabbed him to check for a pulse and I didn’t have anything. I mean it was gut wrenching. I had to tell Forrest to start back, we gotta go, we gotta keep going.”
“As we kept going I can feel myself getting tired, but the only thing I could think in the back of my head was this could be my child. You know, anything could have been happening. I got a 5 year old daughter,” says Deputy Forrest.
“Something like this could have happened to my own kids,” says Deputy Turner. “Like I said, I grew up right here in this park myself. Played football, baseball, soccer, basketball over here. I mean this is, my entire childhood is standing right here where you and I are standing and I mean it just hit home. He’s an innocent little kid. He was having fun with his friends.”
The deputies show me where medical supplies still sit in the field where they tried to revive Melquan.
Despite the scene that’s still on repeat in his head, Deputy Forrest smiles when he thinks of his own little girl.
“I just hugged her real hard and I hugged her so tight she was like daddy you choking me, I mean, you hugging me real hard and um, it was tough. I tell people all the time, love your kids. You know always tell them you love them,” says Deputy Forrest.
We also talked to Dr. Lamonica Hillman, the Assistant Superintendent who oversees counseling at Richmond County Schools.
We’re talking about something that’s difficult for adults to process and there were dozens of kids out here that night who lost their teammate and friend.
Richmond County Schools have counselors ready if your child needs them.
A Go Fund Me is set up for Melquan’s family. If you want to donate click here.
The City of Augusta issued a response about the incident.
In it, Administrator Janice Jackson says that she as well as Mayor Hardie Davis have reached out to the families of Melquan Robinson and the other boys injured.
It also states that the city will be bringing in an outside agency to determine the exact cause of the accident.
The city’s statement also makes clear it will do “all it can to determine why and how this accident happened.”
The city has stated the following facilities will be inspected because of their similar wiring.
- May Park
- Diamond Lakes
- McDuffie Woods
- Eisenhower Athletic Complex
- Newman Tennis Center
- Fleming Tennis Center
You can read the full statement below:
Georgia Power has also released a statement, reading:
“Georgia Power’s condolences and sympathies are with the individuals and their families following last night’s tragic event at Fleming Athletic Complex.
Our preliminary investigation indicates that Georgia Power does not control or maintain the voltage that energized the fence at the complex. We will continue to work with local officials on their investigation.”