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9-year-old boy dies after sledding accident; as snow blankets much of the U.S., doctors urge safety

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Posted at 11:15 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 11:15:11-05

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — A 9-year-old boy has died following a sledding-related accident in the town of Brentwood, Tennessee.

Brentwood Police said the preliminary investigation reveals that Campbell Martin and three other children were sledding in a tube Tuesday afternoon that was being pulled by an ATV, when the tube collided with a mailbox. The ATV was being driven by Martin's father, according to police.

Campbell Martin was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center by Williamson County EMS. He later died of his injuries at the hospital. The three other children were not injured.

"In the later part of yesterday afternoon there were tremendous number of sledding related trauma events and that is a devastating occurrence to be dealing with," Dr. Levine said.

Dr. Marla Levine at the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has some tips to keep kids safe.

"Perhaps the most important piece of medical advice I’d like to share is a sled should never be pulled by a motorized vehicle," Levine said.

If possible, she said children should wear helmets and sled feet first.

"So clear of any trees, clear of cars, and obviously clear of any water sources," Levine said.

The principal at Scales Elementary issued a statement on the death of Campbell Martin that said:

“Campbell was loved by our students and staff. He had a sweet smile and a kind and respectful spirit. He loved sports and he played as hard as he worked. He was such a positive light in his classroom every day. Campbell will forever be loved and missed by our Scales family.”
Dr. Melonye Lowe, Scales Elementary Principal

His family said in a Facebook message they are completely and utterly devastated. The incident remains under investigation. Brentwood police said the tragedy highlights the dangers of sledding.

There was also a sledding accident in Franklin, Tennessee, Tuesday. A 3-year-old went into the river, and his mom was hurt trying to get him out. "Don’t sled anywhere near water," Bryan Hovde said.

At the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency, Brian Hovde wants to warn people of the dangers. With more winter weather ahead, they want everyone to be safe.

"It’s something that’s just very heartbreaking, so we don’t want anyone else to have to experience that."

There are also calls to play safely near frozen water after a 10-year-old boy died in Shelby County, Tennessee. Law enforcement responded to the home Sunday and found the boy and his 6-year-old sister had both fallen through a frozen pond.

The family's pastor told local media the boy , identified as Benjamin Luckett, was trying to help his sister out of the water when he fell in.

The children were rushed to the hospital, where Luckett died. His sister is recovering and was taken off a ventilator Tuesday.

Brentwood police released the following safety tips to remember:

  • Children should have an adult with them when they go sledding.
  • Avoid sledding in areas where there are any obstacles such as fences, trees, poles, etc.
  • Always go downhill feet first.
  • Have only the recommended number of passengers on a sled.
  • Never have a sled pulled by a vehicle.
  • Do not sled around lakes, streams, or ponds.
  • Wear heavy clothing to protect you from the elements and injuries

This story originally reported by Laken Bowles and Alexandra Koehn on NewsChannel5.com.