Texas teen, Madison Coe, took her cell phone with her to the bathroom at her father’s house where, at some point, she plugged it in to charge.


It was a quick decision millions of cell phone users make every day. Unfortunately, it cost Coe her life.

According to KCBD, 14-year-old Coe was at her father’s house in Lovington, New Mexico, when she took a bath and either grabbed her cell phone while it was connected to the charger, or she plugged it in to charge while she was in the tub.

A burn mark on her hand that grabbed the phone is one of the few key details family has said indicates Coe’s fatal mistake.

In an interview, Coe’s grandmother, Donna O’Guinn, explained:

“There was a burn mark on her hand, the hand that would have grabbed the phone. And that was just very obvious that that’s what had happened.”

The teen was electrocuted in the bathtub as a result of grabbing the device as it was charging, and passed away.


As KCBD reports, Coe’s family is now speaking out about the incident to warn others about the dangers of using charging cell phones in or near water:

“This is such a tragedy that doesn’t need to happen to anyone else. And we want something good to come out of this as awareness of not using your cell phone in the bathroom as it is plugged in and charging,” O’Guinn said.

O’Guinn said it’s important to protect other children from making the same mistake.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share and bring awareness!! A friend of a friend put this together. I don't even know this person and they are helping to bring awareness to their kids and everyone else's!

Posted by Angela Downs on Monday, July 10, 2017

As she told KCBD:

“We need to be aware. We need to teach our children that electricity and water do not mix,” O’Guinn said. “She’s just going to be greatly missed by all of us. She has a special place in my heart.”

The cause of Coe’s tragic passing, although seemingly rare, has happened before.


In 2013, CNN reported that a woman in China died from electrocution by her iPhone 5 when she left the bathtub to answer her phone while it was on the charger. Although the claim could not be independently verified by the media outlet, Apple released a statement offering their condolences to the woman’s family and assured a full investigation into the matter.

In March 2017, a 32-year-old British man died when his iPhone fell into the water as he was taking a bath, reported The Guardian. His phone was connected to a charger.

Ruling the man’s death an accident, the coroner informed a jury summoned to hear the case of the significant dangers of using a cell phone in the bathroom (emphasis added):

“These seem like innocuous devices, but they can be as dangerous as a hairdryer in a bathroom. They should attach warnings,” he told the inquest.

As CNN reported, according to experts, using a smartphone while wet can be hazardous, as moisture on a person’s skin reduces their natural resistance to electric shock.

A GoFundMe page set up on behalf of Coe’s family states a memorial service for the teen is scheduled for July 14 at 2:00 p.m. in Lovington.

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