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Teen dies suddenly outside Montgomery College, cause of death unclear

Firefighters thought shock from a malfunctioning electronic message sign might have killed the juvenile, but police say there's no early indication of electrocution.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Montgomery County Police are still trying to figure out how a teen died during Sunday night's storm. The unidentified juvenile was struck down suddenly on the sidewalk right next to Montgomery College.

A fire spokesman says the 911 call center got a desperate plea for help from a group of teenagers walking on Manakee Street. One of them had collapsed at the main gate to Montgomery College, and the teens and the first responders believed he'd been shocked by stray power leaking from  electronic message sign.

"Looks like we've got a pedestrian that was electrocuted by a sign," a first responder says in radio traffic recorded by OpenMHz.com.

First responders say the teen was in full cardiac arrest and that they were unable to save him. Distraught family members were there by that time too.

One of the first responders suffered an apparent electric shock trying to rescue the teenager. 

Pepco responded to the scene late Sunday evening, but a spokesman says the crew quickly determined that if there was a problem, it was with the Montgomery College electrical system. A spokesman from the school says security and a maintenance engineer also went to the scene. But the sign was still on Monday afternoon.

Here's where our story takes a real turn.

Police spokeswoman Shiera Goff says there is no sign, preliminarily, that the teen was electrocuted. No sign, despite what first responders thought, that it was an electric shock that killed him. 

Goff says we'll have to wait for an autopsy report from the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

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