WILLIAMSTON, Mich. – An 8-foot wall collapsed in a Michigan high school locker room, killing a 14-year-old student who had jumped and grabbed for the top to do a pull-up, police said Thursday.
Williamston High School freshman Gabriel Corbett was buried under cement blocks Wednesday and later pronounced dead at a hospital, Police Chief Bob Young said. It was not known why the interior wall came down.
"That's the million-dollar question we're trying to get to right now," said Young, who added there was "absolutely no" horseplay by the victim or another student who was in the locker room.
"The young man was trying to do pull-ups on the wall. He grabbed the top of the wall and that's when it came down," the police chief said.
District finance chief Steve Cook said there had been no reports of structural problems in the locker room, which was built in 1990.
"We're doing an investigation. ... Obviously the wall did come down. We're treating it as a freak accident," Cook said.
On its website, Williamston Community Schools, 20 miles east of Lansing, called it a "tragic accident." The high school was open Thursday with counselors available to talk to students.
A student, Leo Deason, 17, told the Lansing State Journal that he heard a noise in the locker room and rushed in. He said he and others removed cement blocks that had fallen on Corbett.
"He was in full cardiac arrest" before being rushed to the hospital, Young said.