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FRUIT HEIGHTS - It was Friday afternoon and Davis High School sophomore Scott Nye and his friends headed to the foothills for a hike.

"We decided we were going to make Friday the funnest day ever," said classmate and friend Adam Croft.

Nye, Croft and three other boys - who call themselves the "Fruit Heights Crew" - eyed a steep hill.

"Then we saw the tower," Croft said.

The 50-foot metal frame transformer tower on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail looked like it could be fun and challenging to ascend. Andrew Hopkins, one of the boys in the group, went up first.

"Wow, that is really frightening," he said after climbing down the 46,000-volt line tower.

Nye and another boy in the group went up next. Standing on a crossbar platform about two-thirds of the way up the transformer tower, Nye may have lost his footing and grabbed a power line, Croft said. Or, the electricity may have arced.

"We heard this loud pop and [saw] like a huge light - like a huge flash of fire and sparks - and he [Nye] just fell," Croft said.

Croft ran to Nye and, just before starting CPR, kneeled and prayed.

"I was just in shock," he said. "I couldn't believe it happened."

Another boy in the group called 911 on his cell phone. He yelled out questions to Croft - "Is he breathing? Does he have a pulse?" - trying to get more information for dispatchers.

About a quarter mile away from the transformer tower, on the north end of Bella Vista Drive, University of Utah emergency room nurse Becky Crockett heard the wail of emergency sirens.

"Something just hit me," said Crockett, who had seen the five boys laughing and frolicking on their way up the trail only moments earlier. "There is something really bad, wrong, and I just took off in a sprint."

By the time Crockett made it to the scene, Davis County Sheriff's Sgt. Susan Poulsen was there, giving Nye CPR. The ER nurse rushed to help. For nearly half an hour, she said, she and several EMTs exhausted themselves trying to revive the 15-year-old boy.

"They [the boys] were in shock," Crockett said. "I was so devastated for them, to see their friend like that. That's something that will never, ever leave - that image. It affects you for life."

Croft said he tried to calm his friends with prayer.

"I was holding them and I was telling them, 'It's going to be all right guys, everything is fine,' " he said.

A medical helicopter had landed on Bella Vista Drive, near Crockett's house, but it never left with Nye. The teenager - who loved his friends, soccer, snow and skateboarding - was pronounced dead on scene inside an ambulance.

"They just wanted to be adventurous," said Noel Nye of his son and his friends Saturday. "They are just very active kids. They are boys."

Tending to plants across her house Saturday, near the Bonneville Shoreline trailhead, Crockett said she is surprised there are no high voltage signs, or "stay off" signs, that would indicate the transformer towers are dangerous to climb.

"Kids are going to be kids. I know you can't protect them from everything," she said. "But I sure wish there was a warning sign or something. Maybe they would have thought twice, you know?"

Margaret Oler, a spokeswoman for Rocky Mountain Power, said the company is "very diligent in putting out safety messages to school-age children . . . that they should stay away from all electrical facilities." Fencing off the towers, she said, is impractical.

Noel Nye said he doubts additional signage warning people to stay away from the towers would have prevented what he called a tragic accident. "That's all it is," he said.

Down the trail from Crockett's house, Croft and several buddies milled around the base of the transformer tower Saturday, the ground damp from rain. He pointed to a vase of bright pink roses, left there by Nye's mother, and the fragments of Nye's charred undershirt in the spot where he fell.

With a head full of curly red hair and a face spotted with freckles, Nye was nicknamed "Sunshine" by his friends.

"He was just like sunshine. It just radiated off of him," Croft said. "He was hilarious. He was a good friend - I've never fought with Scott in my life, ever - and he was understanding and he was always happy and he was always ready to do something cool."

Nye had recently purchased a new snowboard in anticipation of the upcoming winter season. Friday night, his friends autographed the snowboard, which may be buried with him, Croft said. On Saturday, his friends gathered in the basement of the Nye home.

Nye leaves behind his parents Noel and Valerie, and brothers Bronson, Seth and Brandt.

At Nye's funeral, "everybody is going to wear the brightest clothes they have, tie-dyed, because that's how Scott was," Croft said. "He was just bright."


* Tribune reporters ELIZABETH NEFF and NATHAN C. GONZALEZ contributed to this report.