A Kansas family's vacation took a horrible turn when a 300-plus pound flight status board fell at the Birmingham airport Friday afternoon killing a 10-year-old boy.
Jefferson County, AL, Deputy Coroner Derrick Perryman confirmed that Luke Bresette, of Overland Park, KS, died Friday.
According to his father's Facebook post, the family was returning from a trip to Destin, FL, with a layover in Birmingham, AL.
While on that layover, the Bresettes were standing under the large sign on the wall listing flight arrivals and departures when it somehow came loose and fell. Heather Bresette and her four children were trapped underneath the heavy board when it fell around 1:30 p.m. Friday.
The board was near the Southwest Airlines ticket counter.
Witnesses reported hearing a loud crash in the new terminal of the airport and people screaming as they scrambled to help the family trapped by the massive sign.
It took between eight to 10 airport employees to lift it off of them, Birmingham Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Donald Jones said.
The children were taken to Children's of Alabama where Luke later died. Heather Bresette was taken to University Hospital in Birmingham where a spokesperson said she was in critical condition. The names and conditions of the two other injured Bresette children are unknown at this time.
A spokesperson for the airport said airport officials don't know why the board fell, but said they will investigate the matter.
Just about all of the Bresette children have gone to or are currently attending school at St. Thomas More School in Kansas City, MO. The family was also very active at St. Thomas More Church.
People at the church describe the family as loving, devoted to each other and their church community. They said the parents were also raising their kids, including Luke, to do the same.
"He was here in church every Sunday morning along with his family. They taught them good values. He lived a good moral life. He was shaped with the behaviors and the attitudes and the strength of what helps to make a society a good one," said Father Don Farnan of St. Thomas More Church. "Our hearts go out, with the love of this community as a great support of people. We'll be there for one another."
The Bresettes are a large family and many of their extended family members have headed down to Alabama for support. There was also be a mass dedicated to Luke and his family Saturday morning at St. Thomas More.
On Facebook Luke's father, Ryan Bresette, thanked those who've been supporting the family as they deal with the tragedy.
"Words cannot describe the pain we feel. Thank you all for the love and support. Keep praying and praying and praying. For anyone attending STM mass this morning, please wear your favorite sports team shirt. Luke loved sports! I miss and love Luke so very much. I love you Luke!!!" he wrote.
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