An Indiana Little League is recovering from horrific tragedy following the strange death of an 8-year-old who was struck with a batted ball.
As reported by Indiana Fox affiliate WXIN, Dylan Williams was practicing with his Union City (Ind.) Little League team when he was struck in the neck with a line drive. The boy immediately fell to the ground and never got up, sending both coaches and teammates into utter confusion.
"He just fell to the ground," Erick Williams, Dylan’s father, told WXIN. "I even yelled at him to get up."
There was a reason for Erick Williams to be in shock; while it was clear that Dylan was hurt by the line drive, there was no sense that it should have been life threatening. Usually, fatal heart conditions are brought on by chest impacts and other similar strikes, not those to the neck.
Doctors apparently agreed, as did CAT scans of the area of Williams injuries, concluding that Dylan Williams died from a heart attack, but couldn’t explain to his parents or Little League officials why he had suffered cardiac arrest.
"They’re at a loss," said Georgiana Williams, Dylan’s mother. "They didn’t know how to explain it to us. They didn’t know. They did CAT scans on where the ball hit him. Nothing. No injuries."
While there may be no medical answers as yet, Union City officials are working to ensure that the 8-year-old is not forgotten. Williams’ music teacher and officials from the Union City Little League have begun raising funds in the hope of endowing a scholarship in Dylan Williams’ name. His father is also trying to encourage more youth sports coaches to be trained in CPR so they can more quickly respond to future tragedies.
Meanwhile, Williams' teammates will continue to compete in the ongoing Little League All-Star tournaments in Iowa, in part because they insist that Dylan would have wanted them to.
"Dylan's dad is very adamant on us continuing to play because Dylan would want us to do that," Michael Fulk, the all-star coordinator for Union City baseball, told USA Today. "That's probably what we will do because that's what their wishes are."