It’s a scene from millions of family vacations: a 2-year-old boy climbs up a decorative object that he shouldn’t while waiting in front of the hotel. That’s what two-year-olds do. During one Utah family’s visit to San Francisco, this toddler mischief turned horrific when a statue fell on the boy. He seemed fine at first, but died of internal injuries at a local hospital.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that police had cited the art gallery in the past, along with other nearby merchants that kept large displays on the sidewalk. Here’s a Google Street View grab of the outside of the gallery, with the dolphin statue in the middle.
According to police, the boy climbed up the statue and wrapped his limbs around it, causing it to become unbalanced and fall off its pedestal. The statue tipped over and landed on top of the boy when both fell to the ground.
On the scene, paramedics treated the boy for a bloody nose, then transported him to the hospital. While in the emergency department, his condition worsened, and he was pronounced dead about four hours after the accident.
The police officer in charge of the case notes that the art gallery and other businesses had been cited in the past for keeping large displays and merchandise out on the sidewalk. “For a couple of years now, the merchants have been warned,” he told the Chronicle.
The gallery is in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, and most of the sidewalk is under the jurisdiction of the Port of San Francisco, meaning that merchants can’t put anything on the sidewalk in front of the line. Police didn’t say whether the statue was placed behind the line, but the gallery was cited for having displays on the sidewalk.
Boy, 2, killed by falling statue at Fisherman’s Wharf [San Francisco Chronicle]