4-Year-Old Dies of Injuries From 3-Story Fall

Published 07/14 2014 07:29PM

Updated 07/14 2014 07:50PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--  A four-year-old boy has died from his injuries after falling from a third floor loft window in downtown Springfield on Sunday. 

Family, downtown business workers and passersby rushed to try to help the little boy after the fall.  Ashton Twibell was rushed to Mercy hospital where he later died. 

Springfield police have been investigating since Sunday night.  They believe the boy either pushed or bumped the screen in that third floor loft at The Seville, at 218 East Walnut. 

One of the last pictures of four-year-old Ashton Twibell was with his mom, Danielle Collins.  It shows the two next to each other smiling about a big day at the Springfield Cardinals game.  Friends say Ashton loved donuts, the Springfield Cardinals and his family.

One neighbor saw the boy fall. 

"I was actually sitting about right here with my laptop and, kind of my peripheral I saw something go by," second-floor redisdent Jake Patton said.

Patton had heard a child upsatirs just before that moment. 

"He was playing upstairs or running or something," Patton said.  Then, he heard screams. 

"I can't actually see directly down, but I could see in the reflection across the street that there's like a small child on the ground," Patton said.

Workers from Pappos Pizza, passersby and family ran to try to help Ashton. 

"Everybody is kind of in shock I would say about the whole thing," Patton said.

How Ashton pushed or bumped the window screen is still under investigation by Springfield police.

Chris Straw, the City of Springfield Director of Building Development Services, said no inspections or complaints from The Seville caused concern about an issue with the windows.

"Nothing, nothing of this nature whatsoever," Straw said.

Safety devices are required in high windows that are designed or remodeled in Springfield now.  But, The Seville was renovated in 2003, and it wasn't until years later, 2006, that a device that prohibits a high window from being opened more than just a few inches was required by city ordinance. 
"Based on our research up to this point and time, when that building was remodeled there was not a code requirement for this safety device that restricted the maximum opening size of the window.  After that the codes were amended and we later adopted that code as standard practice and now there is a requirement for a maximum size opening safety device on windows," Straw said.  "It appears that went into effect in 2006 and based on our research at this point in time that building was designed and remodeled under the 2003."

Jake Patton said sadness and shock has descended over this normally buzzing block of downtown. 

"The little guy didn't make it, so..." Patton said. 

Straw said the city does not automatically inspect a building after an incident, workers will wait for a final determination by Springfield police to move forward. 

Ashton Twibell would have turned 5 a week from Monday.  His birthday is July 21. 

Ashton Twibell and his mother are members of the KOLR10 family. 

Danielle Collins is the first face you see when you walk in the door at KOLR10, the receptionist.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Danielle and her family.

Friends have set up an account for the family of Ashton Twibell at Empire Bank.

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