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9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Soccer Goal Post Collapses In Hell's Kitchen School

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A 9-year-old boy died Sunday after a soccer goal post collapsed at a school in Hell's Kitchen, fatally striking him in the head.

As CBS2's Erin Logan reported, parents would hope to find out how fun a sports practice was when they pick up their children afterward. But the family of Tommaso Cerase of the Upper West Side learned Sunday that they will never have that type of talk again.

Tommaso Cerase
Tommaso Cerase, 9, was killed when a goal post fell on him at a soccer practice in Hell's Kitchen on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Credit: CBS2)

Authorities responded to Park West High School on West 50th Street in Hell's Kitchen around 10 a.m. Sunday, and found Tommaso of the Upper West Side unconscious and unresponsive.

1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported Tommaso was playing soccer with a youth church group at the school when a goal post collapsed on him -- hitting him in the head and crushing his skull.

"He must be a special little boy and probably has affected and touched a lot of lives," said Dr. Nevin Gokalp.

Gokalp lives across the street, and was hoping there was something she could do to save Tommaso's life Sunday morning.

"I saw the boy coming out on a stretcher and it looked like whatever was going on with an IV bag and he wasn't moving, and I just said, you know, 'Is there anything I can do?'" she said.

Gokalp said immediately, paramedics gestured there wasn't.

He was taken to Mount Sinai West Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to police.

"This tragic incident is heartbreaking and our thoughts are with this student's family and school community during this devastating time," Department of Education Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a statement Sunday.

A close family friend had very few words to say about the tragedy.

"They're asking you to respect their grief. They have nothing to say. There is nothing to say," he said. "He was a wonderful boy; a wonderful boy."

Gokalp said she saved a life in 2003, and was hoping Sunday she would be able to do the same.

"Life is up to things bigger than us, and we really don't have any control -- no matter what," she said. "I appreciate every single second."

An investigation is underway to figure out how the goal post collapsed, as the New York City Medical Examiner's office works to determine the exact cause of death.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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