As a bleeding 4-year-old boy laid injured from a two-story fall on to asphalt, rescuers from the football crowd at Lakota East High School couldn’t get to him quickly and were forced to climb over fencing, according to 911 recordings.
More than a half-dozen calls came in almost simultaneously to the Butler County Sheriff’s dispatchers Sunday afternoon in the minutes after the boy was spotted by adults atop the stands as he laid on the surface below after he fell from the bleachers.
As they rushed to his aid, some scrambled over fencing to get to the boy.
“A child just fell off … a stadium stand. He is stuck behind a locked fence and people have climbed over” to get to the boy, said one of the 911 callers in recordings obtained by the Journal-News.
Another caller said “a kid fell off out of the bleachers about 20 feet down. He is awake and he is making noise. His eyes are open but it’s like he can’t see.”
The boy was transported by an EMS squad to West Chester Hospital.
Hospital officials did not immediately respond Thursday to messages seeking the boy’s condition.
According to a Butler County Sheriff deputy’s incident report, the boy “was playing on the metal platform with other kids next to the press box at the school’s football field.”
The child, whose father was watching a Lakota Tomahawks youth football game Sunday afternoon at the Butler County school, fell 20 feet to an asphalt walkway behind the stands, said police.
The boy’s father told the deputy he was looking for his boy but couldn’t find him, at approximately 2 p.m. during the game in Liberty Township.
“(The father) states that he happened to look over the fence at the top of the platform and noticed (the boy) laying on the ground. Unknown how (he) fell … there were no witnesses to the fall,” states the deputy’s report.
The boy “was laying on his back alert and crying but suffered a serious head injury due to the fall.”
Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for Lakota Schools, said “our superintendent (Matt Miller) has been in touch with the family and our thoughts and prayers are with them as the child recovers from this very unfortunate accident.”
She added “we are grateful to all the bystanders and first responders who helped get the child the help he needed.”
The youth football game was conducted by the Lakota Tomahawk sports league, which rented the Lakota East stadium for the event, said Fuller.
Tomahawk league officials has not responded to messages seeking their comments.
Fuller said the school bleachers at Lakota East and other Lakota schools are inspected annually and have passed safety requirements.
“This week, Lakota Schools has added additional security (fencing) ties and is looking at other options to help prevent an accident like this from happening again,” said Fuller.
She said all other sports stands in the school district have also been inspected and security ties reinforced as a precaution.
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