Young student dies at San Rafael elementary school after playground injury

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- On Thursday around 1 p.m, a young student died after he was injured on the playground at Mark Day School, an independent K-8 school in San Rafael.

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In a statement, the head of the school, Joe Harvey, said, "Members of our staff witnessed the accident, immediately called 911, and did their best to provide care for the student."

The San Rafael Fire Department says the boy was transported to Kaiser hospital, which is right around the corner from the school. Unfortunately the child did not survive.

"It's tragic," said Ron Reher, a retired firefighter, who was at the school for an unrelated event and heard about what happened. "Those are the difficult calls and it's tough for the parents and everybody involved, and our first responders, I feel for them too."

The school said they are working with authorities to investigate and that the section of campus where the accident occurred will be completely closed off.

Harvey's statement also said, "The death of someone so young is devastating for all of us, and even more so under these circumstances and at this time of year, when we are surrounded by celebrations while we mourn."

Mark Day School will have counselors on campus Friday for any students or faculty who need extra support.

A spokesperson for the San Rafael Fire Department says counselors will also be available to all first responders - firefighters and police officers - who responded to the incident.

The full statement from the head of the school can be read below:

"It is with a very heavy heart that I write this message today, to tell you of a tragic accident involving one of our young students. Earlier today, a student was fatally injured on our playground. Members of our staff witnessed the accident, immediately called 911, and did their best to provide care for the student. He was transported to the hospital but, tragically, did not survive. We have expressed our support and condolences to his parents, and ask that all of you hold them in your thoughts as well.

Other students and faculty and staff members witnessed this distressing accident, and we know they also will require support from their parents and other caring adults. We will have school tomorrow. We are, however, canceling morning assembly, and are making arrangements to have counselors available for any student who needs extra support during this very difficult time. Please use your judgment about whether your child should attend school tomorrow. We will be reaching out in the future with additional resources to help you talk with your child about this.

We don't have full details yet about how this occurred, but are working with authorities to investigate. The safety of our students is so important to all of us, and we want to understand how this could have happened. The section of campus where this occurred will be completely closed off.

The death of someone so young is devastating for all of us, and even more so under these circumstances and at this time of year, when we are surrounded by celebrations while we mourn. All of us at Mark Day School express our deepest sympathies to his family, classmates and friends."
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