9-year-old accidentally kills himself
A Williams boy was killed Saturday after entangling himself in a dog leash.
Williams police are withholding the name of the 9-year-old until the investigation is complete, but police Chief Jim Saso said there is no evidence to suggest foul play or that the child intended to harm himself.
"This appears to be nothing but a tragic accident," Saso said.
Saso said the boy attended Williams Upper Elementary and was a good student. He was in Police Department's G.R.E.A.T. program, a gang-resistance program offered to all fourth-graders at the school, and was known to the department.
"It is such a tragedy," Saso said. "The family is taking his death very hard, but his mother is trying to be strong for her other children."
The accident occurred around 4:30 p.m. at the child's home, while under the supervision of his 15-year-old baby-sitter.
The sitter discovered the boy after he had been alone in the backyard about 20 minutes, Saso said.
Saso said the boy, while playing, somehow entangled himself in the dog line connected to a kennel, but had become looped over a hook on a nearby shed.
The dog was not on the leash at the time of his death, Saso said.
Saso believes the boy somehow managed to get his head inside the loop, and then possibly struggled or fell and was unable to free himself.
Williams police were first on the scene, after the baby-sitter called 911, and immediately began CPR until paramedics arrived.
The boy was transported to Colusa Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy performed in Sacramento on Monday indicated the child died of asphyxiation, Saso said.
The father of the boy, who lives in the Monterey County area, was notified of his son's death later that evening.
School officials said a crisis team had opened two rooms Monday and Tuesday to provide drop-in grievance counseling to classmates and friends who needed help dealing with the tragedy.
Superintendent Judith Rossi said Tuesday the school is like a family, and that students and teachers are clinging together in their grief.
Members of the family's church and the school are trying to help the family and the mother with funeral arrangement, but additional help may be needed in the days to come, Saso said.
The accident is the second tragedy this month involving a Williams boy under the supervision of a teenager.
A 13-year-old suffered near-fatal injuries when he was "ejected" from the bed of a pickup on private property off of San Jose Road north of Highway 20 on Sept. 7.
The California Highway Patrol is still withholding the boy's name and the name of the 19-year-old driver until the investigation has been completed.
The boy suffered severe head trauma, but continues to make daily improvement at U.C. Davis, the CHP said.
The CHP has not decided if charges against the driver will be filed, a CHP spokesman said Monday.
Saso said no charges will be filed against the 15-year old girl who was in charge of the boy who died Saturday.
Rossi said thankfully the boys involved in the two tragedies attended different schools.
"I think it would be too much for the students if they didn't," she said.