Farm gate kills Pa. 2-year-old

October 02, 1998|By DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - A 2-year-old child died on his family's Southampton Township, Pa., farm Thursday morning when a barnyard gate swung over him, causing him to suffocate, according to Franklin County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Conner.

Nolan D. Lauver, 2, of 8777 Molly Pitcher Highway, was pronounced dead at 11:58 a.m. at Chambersburg Hospital, Conner said.

The cause of death was listed as compressional asphyxia.

The accident occurred at the farm of his parents, Jason M. and Edith I. Lauver, Conner said.

According to Conner, the child unlatched a steel pipe gate leading into a barnyard. He said the gate apparently swung open and knocked the boy to the ground.

The bottom rail of the gate came to rest on the child's chest and trachea, suffocating him, Conner said. He ruled the death accidental.


Pennsylvania State Police went to the scene, Conner said. The accident was called in to 911 at 11:11 a.m.

Conner said Nolan Lauver's mother was at the mailbox talking to two people who had driven onto the lane, and his father was in the field when the accident happened.

He said the child's parents and the two visitors headed toward the barnyard when they noticed the cows had gotten out of the yard.

Dr. Ellen Dugan of the Waynesboro Hospital Pathology Department performed an autopsy Thursday afternoon, Conner said.

Nolan Lauver was the eighth of nine children, he said. Two other children were home at the time.

Arrangements are by the Fogelsanger-Bricker Funeral Home in Shippensburg, Conner said.

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