A TEENAGER has been ‘choked’ after falling to his death in a power plant while watching the sunset with friends.
Anthony Clawson, 18, and three of his friends were hanging out at the Market Street Power Plant on Friday night when their trip ended in tragedy.
As the teens came back from the top of the building, a platform collapsed, causing Clawson to fall five stories.
The teenager was a recent graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and preparing to study chemistry at Louisiana State University.
Clawson died Saturday at University Medical Center from blunt force trauma, the Orleans Parish Medical Examiner’s Office said.
“You don’t think, ‘My kid is going to fall to his death in an industrial building,’ when he’s prepared in every way for a great life,” said Clawson’s mother, Valerie Walker.
Paramedics and a fire department rescue team arrived at the scene just after 9 p.m. Friday and got to the teenager by breaking through panels securing the building.
They arrived at the hospital about 36 minutes later, said Janick Lewis, spokesman for the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services.
A spokesman for the plant said Clawson’s death was a tragic accident, but added that the area is secure.
“The ground floor is sealed with metal plates designed to prevent illegal entry into vacant buildings,” said Peter Aamodt, an independent real estate consultant representing the owners.
“There are security fences along the perimeter, additional lighting around the site and ‘no trespassing’ signs.”
Aamodt added that there is a “local, independent security firm that regularly monitors the site,” but declined to say if security guards were present the night Clawson fell.
“We are currently investigating how the group who were there Friday night accessed the secured property,” Aamodt said.
“We will be working fully with everyone involved to determine what happened. We extend our condolences to the affected families.”
The four teenagers were exiting the building just before 9 p.m. when they noticed someone shining a flashlight on them from below, Walker said.
Clawson was in front, leading the group and testing the ground as they made their way down to the building’s entrance.
He stepped onto a platform and fell onto the base of the building.
“I saw him get swallowed by the ground in front of me,” said Noah Cieutat, Clawson’s friend who was present at the time.
“I couldn’t move for what felt like a minute.”
The teenagers ran down the stairs and called 911.
According to Cieutat, the trip to the power plant should be the group’s last hurray before they all go to college.
“One last great memory,” said Cieutat.
Clawson’s mother said her son received a full scholarship to LSU.
“I’ve always said I wanted a well-mannered son with a good education, and that’s exactly what I got,” she said.
“He would have been something. He had a lot to give to this world and he wanted to do it.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5917631/anthony-clawson-teen-falls-to-death-louisiana-power-plant/ Teenager falls to his death and is “swallowed” after a fall in the power plant to watch the sunset with friends