Friday, May 27, 2011

Autopsy results pending for Baldwin County fifth-grader

robertsdale-spotter.jpgROBERTSDALE, Alabama -- Autopsy results are pending for an 11-year-old boy who collapsed and stopped breathing Wednesday at a school in Baldwin County.
Baldwin County Coroner Dr. Stan Vinson identified the child as William Cote.
According to the Baldwin County Coroner’s Office, William was attending an event at St. Patrick Catholic School in Robertsdale. After playing on a Slip ’n Slide, the boy stumbled, complained of not being able to see, then collapsed.
A 911 call was made about 4:04 p.m. for a child not breathing, according to Vinson.  William was transported to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley, where he was pronounced dead at 5:19 p.m., Vinson said.
Vinson said the family resides in Daphne and the boy's mother is a teacher at the St. Patrick, where William was a fifth-grader.
Investigators received conflicting reports about the incident and it is unclear whether the boy may have hit his head or had some medical condition, according to Vinson. The Coroner’s Office has requested the boy’s medical records, he said. The boy’s body was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Mobile for an autopsy.
Sister Margaret Hart, principal at St. Patrick School, confirmed that the boy was participating in an after-school activity. She declined to give further details but asked that everyone respect the privacy of the boy’s family and that everyone "please keep the family in their prayers."
Asked how the students and staff at the school were handling the unexpected death, she said, "We’re just trying to help our children."

In the incident’s wake, Baldwin County Public Schools Superintendent Alan Lee issued a statement to school administrators asking them to hold off on using inflatable devices to celebrate the end of school until more is learned about the St. Patrick student’s death, according to system spokesman Terry C. Wilhite.
"When one hears of such a horrendous tragedy, the right thing to do is to err on the side of safety for our children," Wilhite said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the St. Patrick families in this devastating time."

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