Eastern Indiana boy dies after hit by baseball

Dylan Williams (Photo provided by family)
Published: .
Updated: .

The parents of an eight-year-old boy who died on a baseball diamond after being hit by a baseball are calling him a hero.

Erick and Georgiana Williams are asking all parents to hug their children tighter. They say they're determined to make sure their son's legacy lives on after this tragedy on the field.

It could have been anyone's child.

"He just fell to the ground and, I mean, I even yelled at him to get up," remembered Erick Williams, sobbing.

Dylan Williams went to into cardiac arrest after being hit by a baseball at practice on a Union City baseball field.

"He never came to for the time that I tried to get him up. He never came to," Erick said.

Erick was helping coach Dylan, who was part of an All-Star team set to play in a tournament this weekend.

"I couldn't even help, I couldn't help him. One of our dads tried, but nothing we could do," said Erick, recalling how the other father tried to give Dylan CPR.

Wednesday, Dylan's parents took him off life support at Riley Hospital for Children, but not before they donated several of his organs.

"That's what he would have wanted. He's a great kid," said Erick.

The family said doctors had no answers for their questions.

"They're at a loss. They said one-in-10 million or something like that is what the likelihood and they didn't know how to explain it to us. They didn't know," cried Erick.

The Marion County coroner says Williams died of complications of blunt force trauma to the neck.

Still, the family said Dylan wouldn't want his teammates asking such questions, but instead focusing on this weekend's game.

"He would have told 'em, 'You play,'" said Erick with certainty. "He loved baseball."

That's just how Dylan died, doing what he loved.

"He was a wonderful young man. He was a hero and he'll always be a hero and no one will ever forget him. We'll make sure of that," said Erick.

The Williamses said they want other parents to know not to take a second of time with your kids for granted.

"Hug your kids tighter," said Georgiana Williams. "Give 'em kisses and tell 'em you love 'em that much more, 'cause you never know, anything like this could happen in a moment's notice."

The Williamses know. It happened to them.

The Dylan Williams Foundation is being started by Dylan's friends and teammates in his honor at Pacesetter Bank in Union City. Money raised could go for a variety of things, possibly to make sure every baseball field in the area has a portable defibrillator on hand in case of emergencies.

Visitation services for Dylan Williams will take place on Monday, with his funeral set for Tuesday.

Injuries from youth baseball

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a USA Baseball baseball study of players from T-ball age to college found 39 deaths among 82.6 million participants between 1989 and 2006.

The newspaper also cited a study by an emeritus professor of exercise and sports science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He found an annual average of 29,038 injuries among the 1.7 million participants, for an injury rate of 1.69 per 1,000 participants.

The Chicago Tribune cited a limited study commissioned by USA Baseball. That review showed that between 1989 to 2010, 18 children younger than high school age died of baseball injuries.