Special to the Grove Sun
WYANDOTTE — A Wyandotte student who died after a school playground accident likely suffered a severe concussion, state Medical Examiner’s spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard said.
Alyssa Avila, 9, died Aug. 19 after falling from an X-Wave, which resembles a teeter-totter, at the Wyandotte Elementary School playground.
Emergency responders said Alyssa was taken from the school in full cardiac arrest and died at Integris Baptist Regional Health Center in Miami.
“The manner of death is accidental and nothing was detected in the toxicology report,” Ballard said.
Jason David Smith, the family’s attorney and spokesman, said he had not received a copy of the final autopsy report but has talked to the Avila family about the results.
“Family members are saying it’s a rare kind of concussive head injury,” Smith said. “A blunt force type injury is apparently what happened. We don’t know if there are any seizures or other underlying medical problems.”
Alyssa was sitting where two pieces of the equipment connect and when that section was in the air; she fell off, Smith said he was told.
When she stood up to get back on the equipment she was hit in the head as that section was coming down, knocking her to the ground, he said.
“We wanted that piece of equipment gone from day one,” Wyandotte Superintendent Troy Gray said.
“It’s a constant reminder of what happened.”
Gray said the X-Wave remains secured by an 8-foot fence that keeps children away from it.
Experts have flown in from across the country to inspect the X-Wave.
Gray declined to discuss specific conversations the school has had with the manufacturer, but said the school is waiting for permission to remove the equipment from school grounds and properly destroy it.
Friends and family members said the fourth-grade student was healthy and had no medical problems, Smith said.
Smith said he is going to make a final effort to settle the claim against Xccent, the Minnesota-based company that manufactured the X-Wave.
If those efforts fail, Smith said, he is prepared to file a lawsuit.
Matt Stewart, Xccent quality control manager, declined to comment on the accident or equipment.
The playground equipment has been inspected and an investigative report turned over to Wyandotte Nation Police Chief Ken Murphy, Stewart said.
Stewart declined to release a copy of the report. Murphy did not return phone calls Tuesday.