Accident claims child#039;s life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Tragedy struck a family in the South community Friday afternoon when two children were injured in a go-cart accident.

At approximately 12:29 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, Covington County Sheriff's Department deputies and officers from the Red Level Police Department responded to an accident involving two juveniles near the Old Beasley Store, just off of Highway 55.

According to Sheriff Anthony Clark, the children, a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl with the last name of Straughn, were riding a go cart at their grandparents' house.

"The grandfather had just put a new engine in the go cart, and they were out for about ten minutes," an emotional Sheriff Clark said. "The kids were waving and looking back at the grandfather when they ran under a trailer, where they hit a steel bar under the mobile home. There was no roll bar on the go cart."

Both children were transported by Faith EMS to Andalusia Regional Hospital, where the 7-year-old boy was pronounced dead.

The 5-year-old girl was taken by Faith EMS to the Andalusia-Opp Airport for possible air transport to Birmingham, but she was unable to be stabilized sufficiently for a fixed-wing aircraft (airplane).

"She's too critical to fly out now," said Tim Tirey, Director of Aviation Operations at Eagles' Wings Air Ambulance, the non-profit service that was scheduled to perform the air transport. "Her blood pressure (was) 70 over 20 and her heart rate (was) 200. She's going back to the hospital to be stabilized further. the service that was scheduled to perform the air transport. "She has severe facial injuries. She is vomiting so much that she is having to be placed on her side for suction, which cannot be done on an airplane."

Tirey went on to say that he was at his hunting camp in Monroeville when he got the call to fly Andalusia.

"I said I would run home to change clothes and was told that I had to leave right then," he said.

Unfortunately, this may have been Eagles' Wings last transport, as they do not have the donor funding to continue their operations.

"Please hope and pray for this girl and her family," Sheriff Clark said.