A town in Virginia is morning the loss of a nine-year-old boy after he was crushed to death by an automated divider at his school .
Fairfax County police said that Wesley Lipicky sustained critical injuries after getting trapped in a motorized room partition while attending an after school program at Franconia Elementary.
Authorities say that Lipicky and a teacher simultaneously pushed a button that opened a large, motorized room partition, leading the device to malfunction according to Fox broadcast affiliate Channel 5.
Fairfax County police said that Wesley Lipicky sustained critical injuries from a motorized room partition Friday afternoon at Franconia Elementary School (pictured)
That’s when investigators say Lipicky got caught between the partition and a wall, suffering serious injuries to his head.
The incident occurred around 4.45pm inside the school’s gym, according to Channel 5.
The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital by emergency medical units. Doctors pounced Lipicky dead late Friday evening.
An autopsy report found that Lipicky’s cause of death was ‘accidental’ and no charges are expected to be filed in the case.
Manufacturers say that motorized room partitions are an ideal tool for sectioning off large spaces to hold simultaneous activities without interference or distraction.
Franconia Elementary Principal Terri Edmunds-Heard released a letter following the announcement of Lipicky’s death, saying she was deeply saddened by the incident and remembered the 4th grader as a special student.
Franconia Elementary Principal Terri Edmunds-Heard released a letter expressing sorrow over Lipicky’s death
‘He was an endearing child whose bright smile and enthusiasm for school inspired the love of all who knew him,’ Edmunds-Heard wrote.
The school said that it will be providing support staff to students and faculty members that need help processing the situation in the days ahead.
‘The team will help our classroom teachers talk with students and handle their questions and reactions.’
Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand also released a statement, expressing his sorrow over the incident and offered condolences to the family.
‘I am deeply saddened by this tragic accident. Our first priority is supporting the family, students and staff as they cope with this sudden loss. Our crisis counselors will be onsite Monday to assist the school,’ wrote Brabrand.
‘We are working closely with law enforcement and County officials to review this accident and to review safety protocols and procedures,’ he added.
Full Letter from Principal Terri Edmunds-Heard
I am deeply saddened to report to you the death of third grade student Wesley Lipicky, who died late yesterday from injuries he received in a tragic accident that occurred in the school gym during SACC.
Any death is difficult for children to understand; Wesley’s death is particularly difficult due to his young age and its unexpectedness. If you and your family knew Wesley, I encourage you to talk about this. A team of Franconia support staff members including our counselors, psychologist, social worker and members of an FCPS crisis team will be available to support students, staff, and parents in the days ahead. The team will help our classroom teachers talk with students and handle their questions and reactions.
Children have different reactions to death. There is additional information with this letter that may help you as you talk with your child. Please contact the school if your child is having difficulty with the news, and needs an opportunity to speak to someone when school resumes.
Fairfax County Police are investigating the accident and we will be supporting them as they look into the circumstances that caused this terrible loss.
On behalf of all members of the Franconia community, our deepest condolences are with Wesley’s family and friends during this difficult time. We will miss Wesley very much. He was an endearing child whose bright smile and enthusiasm for school inspired the love of all who knew him.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Terri Edmunds-Heard, Principal