Monday, October 20, 2014

Lincoln's Loss: Christian Lorinczy

Unlike Anna Hendren Schwalb's death in a motorist-pedestrian accident, which I described as "rare but not that rare," 13-year-old Christian Lorinczy's death at Lincoln High School is exceedingly rare.

When we think of deaths from electrocution, we think of lightning strikes--or industrial accidents.

We don't think that a 13-year-old, playing catch by the side of a high school football field, is at any risk at all from electrocution. Potentially, they might twist an ankle, at worst.

I did an internet search to see how frequently this might have happened and basically--it doesn't. I found three somewhat similar accidents in the past seven years, and two of them were in India: one was related to an illegal electricity connection and another related to a live electric wire passing through a wall when it shouldn't have been there.  The third was at South Georgia Technical College where a fountain had bad electrical wiring beneath it--and where, in fact, another student had been shocked a month earlier. That family settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.4 million, but that large settlement will never bring their daughter back.

We don't know the cause yet of the electrified fence/ramp at Lincoln Schools. Well, we know there was a short circuit in some wires in a pole. But we don't know why--yet.  I understand that the pole was last touched by the district (electrically speaking) about eleven years ago. So I speculate. I speculate that maintenance that would normally have been done earlier, was not done because of financial stress. I don't know what it takes to maintain a school's building and properties, but it seems like it takes a lot of work.  Given the number of financial cuts that every district in the state has taken over the past several years, many schools have deferred maintenance. If it does turn out to be related to deferred maintenance, now would be a good time for every school district in the state to take a look at their maintenance schedules.

If the issue is related to deferred maintenance, I hope that Christian's death will help our school district understand the importance of maintenance. I hope that Christian's death will help our legislators understand the real risks of cutting, and cutting, and cutting school funding. But that is just--at this point--speculation. Updated information (as more information is known) can be found at the Lincoln Consolidated Schools web site.


I don't know Christian Lorinczy. But I know his family will miss him. I know his friends will miss him. From his obituary:

Age 13, went to be with the Lord his Savior Thursday, October 2, 2014. He was born February 28, 2001 in Ann Arbor, the son of Peter and Elizabeth (Newland) Lorinczy. Chris attended Lincoln Middle School and was in the eighth grade. He faithfully attended South Side Baptist Tabernacle and was an active member of the teen department. He loved all sports, especially Tigers, Lions and University of Michigan Football. Survivors include: his parents, Peter and Elizabeth Lorinczy of Belleville; two sisters, Autumn and Kayla and two brothers, Alexander and Eli, all of Belleville; paternal grandmother, Mary (Duane) Lilly of North Adams; maternal grandparents, Paul (Marjean) Newland of Ypsilanti; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parental grandfather, Peter. 

Donations may be made at Chase Bank to help assist the family with funeral expenses. Donations can only be made in the form of check or money order. Donations can be made to the
Christian Lorinczy Memorial at:
2025 Rawsonville Rd
Belleville, MI 48111
(734) 485-3520

May Christian's memory be a blessing.

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