The Accident. January 28, 2012
When one hears of a friend’s death it is human nature to wonder about the specifics. Many caring people have asked about the details of Blake’s accident, so here is a brief summary of that difficult day.
Saturday, January 28, 2012 was a beautiful, unseasonably warm day in Durham, North Carolina. With temperatures near 60 degrees it was a perfect day for an outing, so Blake and two other friends headed to the woods near his friend’s apartment. During this venture they came upon a high power transmission line that cut through the woods, which seemed to offer the perfect place for a contest to see whose paper airplane could fly the furthest. Blake loved paper airplanes and his finely crafted airplanes were legendary.
These towers are huge structures, rising 60 feet above the ground, and are surprisingly easy to climb. Sometime around mid-afternoon the boys made it to the top of the tower. They launched their airplanes and were having a good time, clueless as to the danger of being so proximate to 100,000 volt power lines. Blake’s friends recount how they thought it was only dangerous if they actually touched the coils.
While on the descent, still high on the tower and without a care in the world, electricity from one of the lines arced to Blake, killing him instantly. As one of paramedics recounted to the family: Blake would have seen a bright flash, and then the face of Jesus.
His traumatized friends rushed down the tower to Blake, and called 911, but there was nothing they, or the rescue personnel, could do. Thankfully, and miraculously, the arcing power did not physically shock Blake’s friends.
Jeff, Patty and Lauren heard Blake had been in a serious accident and they rushed to the scene, where they were informed that Blake had been in a fatal accident. The family was quickly surrounded by a large gathering of friends. Robert flew home from Tampa, joining the family just a few hours later.
That evening, and for days later, the home overflowed with those who loved Blake and the family. This outpouring is not surprising to those who knew Blake; he was a truly remarkably person, and is incalculably missed by all who knew and loved him.