Family of drowning victim teams up with TVA to deliver water safety message

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WINSTON COUNTY, Ala. -- It's been two years since 15-year-old Carmen Elizabeth Johnson drowned at Smith Lake. Johnson was with her family when they say she was electrocuted in the water while swimming near a boat dock. In an effort to keep other families from experiencing the same heartache, her family teamed up with the Tennessee Valley Authority to warn others about electric shock drowning.

The Johnson's say the incident took place when a metal ladder was put into the water.

"As soon as I dove in I could feel what was going on," explained Carmen's dad, Jimmy Johnson. "I could feel the electric current through my body."

They say the electric current came from ungrounded wiring and an outdoor switch box that was partially filled with water.

"Before your loved ones go into the water check your wiring boxes and outlets and make sure everything is in good working condition, said Carmen's mother, Carmen Johnson. "Also test your water around your pier for electricity."

The Electric Shock Prevention Association says storms and constantly moving water can cause faulty wiring.

The Johnsons hope Carmen's death is an opportunity to bring awareness and help save lives.

"You can have fun times on the water and possibly save a life," said Jimmy Johnson.

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