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Medical Examiner: Man Found In Dallas Storm Debris Was Electrocuted

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Downed tree at the Sycamore Tree Apartments in the 5000 block of Lahoma Drive, near Lemmon Avenue and the Dallas North Tollway. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Downed tree at the Sycamore Tree Apartments in the 5000 block of Lahoma Drive, near Lemmon Avenue and the Dallas North Tollway. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

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DALLAS (AP) – Authorities say a man found dead atop storm-related debris in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas was electrocuted by downed power lines brought down by fast-moving North Texas thunderstorms.

Robert Ragan, who was wearing only shorts, was found at the Sycamore Tree Apartments in the 5000 block of Lahoma Drive, near Lemmon Avenue and the Dallas North Tollway.

A huge sycamore tree at the apartment complex brought down three power lines with it when it fell. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said the 35-year-old man was found near the downed lines.  Wednesday afternoon the medical examiner determined Ragan’s death was an “accidental electrocution”.

Evans said Ragan’s body was discovered by a man who was assessing storm damage for the apartment complex. He says the body was burned and lying on top of downed tree limbs.

Dallas Fire-Rescue had closed the area off in the late evening after responding to the downed lines, but no one saw Ragan’s body. “Our presence was here overnight, to establish a perimeter first and foremost, and make sure that no one crossed that perimeter,” said Evans.

Severe thunderstorms, funnel clouds and hail the size of tennis balls bombarded the Dallas and Fort Worth areas Tuesday night.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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