9-year-old dies from soccer goal falling on him


Flags flew at half-staff Thursday, January 28, 2011 at Elm Tree Elementary School in Bentonville, Arkansas as students, faculty and parents remembered fourth-grader Jonathan Nelson.

"My heart goes out to his family," Elm Tree parent Ruth Akana said.

Bentonville police say the 9-year-old was killed after a soccer goal fell on top of him during recess Wednesday afternoon.

"What we do know and believe is that it was simply just a terrible accident," Lt. Jon Simpson, of the Bentonville Police Department, said.

Authorities believe other kids were playing on or around the soccer goal when it fell on Nelson. Investigators say they'll now turn to the fourth-grader's classmates for more information as to what led to his tragic death.

"I'm sure there are several children that can give us some real insight," Simpson said.

"We know that his soccer goal did not just fall over in and of itself," Gary Compton, superintendent of Bentonville Public Schools said.

Compton says he's uncertain if the district's 36 soccer goals were purchased by administrators.

"They might have been donated by parent organizations over the years, they may have been donated by soccer clubs who like to use the open space for their practices," Compton said.

Nelson's death prompted the school group to begin a district wide soccer goal inventory. Crews spent Thursday throwing older goals away and securing newer models to the ground, in hopes that a playground tragedy like this won't happen again.

"It's just a tragic accident and it can happen anywhere," Akana said.
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