2 girls electrocuted at Moody Park, may face permanent damage

Two little girls are in the hospital after being electrocuted at a Houston city park.  

"They had passed out and they were doing CPR on them," explains Lindale Little League Treasurer Luz Quintanilla.  

It happened at Moody Park in north Houston, where the little league players and one of the girl's grandfather suffered severe electric shock.  

Parents watching their Lindale Little Leaguers at Moody Park say the Wednesday night practice went from enjoying America's favorite pass time to just about the worst thing they could imagine as 9-year-old Emma Lazcano began being electrocuted by a high voltage box in the ground.

"Her grandfather said one minute he saw her standing and he went to pitch a ball in the batting cage to another player and by the time he turned around he saw her laying on the ground. He called out to her and she didn't respond.  So he knew something was wrong," Quintanilla explains. 

McKinley Ray, 6, touched her friend to help and she too was hit with a severe jolt. The electrical current seemed to grab little Emma and wouldn't let go. Her grandfather also suffered an electric shock but was finally able to break Emma free.  

Both girls were knocked unconscious and had to be revived.  

"McKinley was sitting with her mom crying and she was in some pain. Unfortunately, Emma was still laying on the ground. They didn't want to move her which was probably best.  She was bleeding from her nose,"  Quintanilla says.

Emma went into cardiac arrest and suffered burns across her body.

"It's almost like a gash of some sort. Not just a skin burn but a gash. The doctors confirmed there's dead muscle there.  So they have her in surgery to remove the dead muscle," Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla says they were in for another blow when the repairman arrived moments after the girls were rushed to the hospital. 

"He talked about how his stack of maintenance orders is like this many and we're just one park out of 100 parks that they maintain. Like, no concern. We're just another number, another ticket waiting to be worked on," Quintanilla said.

Both girls and the grandfather are still in the hospital. Doctors say Emma may suffer permanent muscle, joint and nerve damage. All are expected to survive.  

"It should have never happened. These are things that should not happen.  You put your kids at these parks thinking it's a safe place to take them," adds Quintanilla. 

The City of Houston Parks Department released the following statement:


Mayor Turner spoke with the father of one of the injured girls to express his concerns. The mayor plans to contact the other family as soon as possible. At his direction, the Parks Department will replace electrical ground boxes in all City of Houston parks effective immediately.

"Our priority is to keep people safe when they visit our parks. We are grateful that Mayor Turner has prioritized this issue and directed HPARD to begin replacing all ground boxes effective immediately," said Wright. "At this time, we are assessing how many of these boxes are located in our parks citywide."​​​​​​​

"We just ask for everyone to send their prayers to these little girls and pray they recover quickly," says Quintanilla.