They were the kind of brothers who didn’t leave each other behind.
“Very loving, very affectionate,” says their uncle, Jorge Lopez.
And we are learning that was true, until the very end.
Wednesday evening, 12-year-old Alex Lopez was at the Oakland Lake Park in east Fort Worth when, somehow, he came into contact with a power line that had fallen during vicious storms that morning.
“It could've been completely accidental, that he was just trying to step over it, miscalculated it,” Lopez says.
LINK: Lopez family GoFundMe
The uncle says a friend saw what was happening and ran to get Alex’s little brother, 11-year-old Isaiah, who was skateboarding nearby.
“He said ‘we need to go get some help, we need to go get your mom,’ and Isaiah said, ‘you go get help, I’m going to get my brother,’ and he ran and tried to get Alex off the wire.”
Neither brother survived the electrocution.
The city of Fort Worth addressed the situation Thursday.
“We were not aware of any power outages in that area,” said Richard Zavala, the city’s Parks and Recreation director.
Zavala says after every storm event, the city checks its park properties for issues. The city did check Oakland Lake Park for downed limbs and power lines Wednesday, but because of the location of this particular part of the park, they say they didn’t see the downed line.
“It was in a very remote area, undeveloped area, just north of the park within the utility easement,” Zavala says.
It is in area that, while off the beaten path, is clearly heavily-traveled, and there are lots of personal items and trash that have been left behind. It is also easily accessible. Jorge Lopez noted that it “could have happened to anyone walking through there.”
For its part, Oncor says there are a number of ways they become aware of a downed power line. Power outages are one way, because they then know where to look for the downed wire. Calls from first responders or citizens are another way. Oncor did not respond when we asked whether they knew about the downed line beforehand or not.
Zavala says his department is evaluating its procedures.
“We’re all still in shock and we’re all hurting,” Jorge Lopez says.
A tragedy from every angle, and a tremendous void the two brothers now leave behind.
“Just the kind of kids any uncle would love to spend more time with,” he says.
The little boys were students at the International Leadership of Texas school in North Richland Hills.