Child hit by fence at Bayville beach dies

An 18-month-old boy, injured when a section of An 18-month-old boy, injured when a section of metal fence fell on his head at a Bayville beach, has died of his injuries, police said. (Sept. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Officials continued to investigate Tuesday's death of an 18-month-old boy, killed after a section of metal fence fell on his head at a Bayville beach.

Phillip Amico had been playing near the unattached chain link fence when it fell on him "causing a laceration to his head" at 4:55 p.m. Monday at Charles E. Ransom Beach, a Nassau police report said.

Though police said the death was accidental, they provided neither any details about what happened nor additional information about the child or his family.

Chris Murphy, Oyster Bay Town employee, said he had propped up the fence along a bath house wall two weeks ago for the fence company to pick up.

"I didn't think it was dangerous," he said. "The way it was, I didn't think [something like that] would ever happen."

Jennifer Schieferstein, 21, of Locust Valley, was walking at the beach Monday when she heard a woman urgently calling for an ambulance. A baby bleeding from gashes on the front and back of his head was draped on the woman's shoulder.

Three little girls were with her; one repeatedly yelling "Is my brother going to die?"

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Schieferstein's mother took the girls aside while she and the woman placed him on a nearby picnic table and tried to revive him.

He still had a pulse but was unconscious and coughing up blood, said Schieferstein, who works as a lifeguard.

A Nassau police ambulance driver, who said he was at the scene Monday, drove up to the parking lot Tuesday afternoon, leaving a bouquet of yellow carnations in front of the Ransom beach house where the fence was located.

Police said the injured boy was taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow by helicopter. After an 11-hour attempt to save his life, a pediatric intensive care unit doctor pronounced him dead at 4:02 a.m. yesterday, hospital spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said.

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said the town, which maintains the park on the Long Island Sound, is "fully and actively cooperating" with the police investigation.

Venditto said the police took a piece of fencing that was at the beach as part of a recent construction project. The town supervisor said the administration is working with town employees, a contractor and consulting engineer to determine why the fence was there.

With Bill Bleyer

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