Four-year-old boy dies after struck by falling tree at Maymont - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Four-year-old boy dies after struck by falling tree at Maymont

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Pieces of information came trickling in during the hours after a tragic incident at Maymont Thursday. As detectives came in and out of the estate, we learned one of the sadder parts of this story: while the adult who was injured is recovering, he'll also be mourning. The child who died is his son.

As the storm swept through the area and the skies of Richmond turned dark, police cruisers with lights flashing and sirens blaring converged on Maymont. A family now had to grieve the loss of a child at a place normally filled with the laughter of kids his age.

"This is difficult when you have a small child like this," Richmond Police Spokesman Gene Lepley said. "It's hard."

The call came in just before four o'clock. Two people had been struck by a falling tree. The adult was rushed to the hospital to be treated. He is expected to be ok. The four-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two were part of a small group visiting, one that never made it to the shelter of the nature center where they were being directed.

"There was an evacuation underway as everybody knows this storm was rolling in," Lepley described. "They had their safety officer out with a bull horn, we're told, in a vehicle. It's a large grounds so he was working his way around the area letting people know it was time to come in and take shelter."

We now know, they had come so close to safety.

"Down the hill near the stream, there's a little bridge across the stream and that's where the tree was and that's unfortunately where they were caught," Lepley explained. "They were only sixty or seventy yards away from making it to the center."

Now, an investigation, which is difficult for the most hardened of detectives, continues.

"There are investigators here who have years of experience, have investigated hundreds of fatalities and they're shaken by it because of the innocence a child brings to the world and now that we've lost one," Lepley added.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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