14 May Soccer Goal Death
January 2012 Newton Grove, NC
“A third grader died Sunday after a soccer goal fell on his head in Sampson County at 607 Mt. Olive Dr, Newton Grove.
Maria Escalera says her son, Juan Escalera, 9, was visiting his cousins and decided to play soccer after church.
“My husband said that it happened in less than 2 minutes” Escalera said, adding that the goal posts metal bars were not secured. “They yelled and screamed that something had happened to my son, that the goal thing had fallen on top his head.”
Juan died of brain trauma at a local hospital.
“Soccer was one of his favorite sports” Escalara said. “Only God knows why he took him that way from me.”
It was unclear what caused the goal to fall.
“I mean, it still doesn’t seem right to us. I mean, because the pipes are so heavy. My brother-in-law tried to pick it up, and he couldn’t pick it up by himself,” Escalera said. “There are kids who love soccer….and they need to make sure everything is secured correctly.
Potable soccer goals, which can weigh up to 500 pounds, have killed 36 people in the U. S. since 1979, according to the Consumer Product Protection Commission. Hundreds more have been seriously injured. Many of the causes involved head injuries and often happened when someone was climbing or hanging from the bars.
Goals are supposed to be held down with sand bags or stakes, and referees are required to check that they are before every game.”
In reality, sand bags and stakes are ineffective and do not work well in all conditions. Soccer goals are unbalanced and front heavy. The solution is to calculate the ballast needed to prevent accidental tip overs.