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Airport sign collapses on Kansas family; three survive, one boy killed

A bizarre accident at a Southern airport forever changed the lives of a Kansas family. An Overland Park couple and their five children were returning from vacation when a flight update sign toppled onto them. Four members of the family were injured. The fatal accident killed a 10-year-old boy.

The 300-to-400 pound sign was hung in a recently remodeled section of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama. The sign pulled away from the wall and fell on the mother and three children, ages 5 to 10. Two other children and the Kansas woman's husband were unharmed. The mother is unconscious and unaware of the loss of a loved one.

The 300-to-400 pound sign was hung in a recently remodeled section of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama. The sign pulled away from the wall and fell on the mother and three children, ages 5 to 10. Two other children and the Kansas woman's husband were unharmed. The mother is unconscious and unaware of the loss of a loved one.

The fallen sign fractured the mother's arms and pelvis. Family members said the woman is on a respirator and may be transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Her medical status is serious.

The woman's 8-year-old son remains hospitalized with a broken nose and leg. The couple's 5-year-old boy was diagnosed with a concussion and released two days after the fatality of the 10-year-old.

Community and church support for the family has been constant in Birmingham and Overland Park. The husband has delayed his son's funeral. The man is by his wife's side waiting for the mother of five's condition to improve before he explains what happened.

The loss of a single family member can devastate the people left behind. Grief is intensified when injuries and death affect multiple loved ones. In many cases, a grieving parent, spouse, child or sibling is also injured.

Medical expenses for the treatment of the Overland Park family are immense. Generous donations may not cover the multiple treatments and mother's surgeries and rehabilitation. Out-of-pocket costs are also likely for the son's funeral and burial.

The Alabama airport may be named in a personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit. Proven neglect of visitors' safety could result in damages that would cover the family's financial and emotional losses.

Source: blog.al.com, "Kansas mother recovering after Birmingham airport sign collapse not yet told of her son's death, said the family's priest (Updated)," Carol Robinson, March 25, 2013

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