An 8-year-old Indiana boy was killed this week after being hit with a baseball during an all-star game practice.
Dylan Williams, 8, died on Wednesday after being struck in the neck by an errant baseball, USA Today reports. Williams was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children, and passed away after his family decided to take him off of life support.
According to his parents, Williams was playing first base when a baseball that was thrown struck him in the side of the neck, local television station WHIO-TV reports. Doctors later said that the injury caused the 8-year-old to go into cardiac arrest. However, an autopsy performed by the Marion County Coroner’s Office reportedly confirmed that Williams had died of blunt force trauma.
Dylan’s father, Erik Williams, was coaching the all-star practice and witnessed the accident. “He was playing first base and they went to throw a ball to him and he wasn’t really looking, and to me it looked like it hit him in the side of the neck and he just dropped to the ground,” Williams told WHIO-TV. He added that he initially told Dylan to “get up,” as he thought the injury wasn’t serious.
Williams noted that doctors initially discovered no sign of blunt force trauma, and believed that an “underlying heart issue” likely caused his death. “All they told us was no injury from getting hit in the head. He just dropped with cardiac arrest. And then we couldn’t get him going,” Williams told WHIO-TV. “He was a great kid. Loved baseball, loved his teammates.”
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Union City Mayor Bryan Conklin addressed Williams’ tragic death, and struggled to maintain his composure during an interview with USA Today. “It’s probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard,” Conklin told the paper. “For a kid to be playing something he likes to do, and then … it’s just … heartbreaking.”
A study performed by USA Baseball found that the sport had caused 39 deaths in players ranging from T-ball age to college from 1989 to 2006, the Chicago Sun-Times notes.