BIG LAKE TOWNSHIP, Minn. – Parents are grieving the loss of their young son who authorities say was killed in a “freak accident” with a hammock.
Five-year-old Edward Michalek was playing with three other siblings on a backyard hammock tied between two trees Tuesday afternoon.
One of the trees, a dead, seven-foot-tall oak trunk, suddenly broke off at the roots and landed on Edward.
“Took him on the back of his head and my 15-year-old daughter and two other children were on the hammock and it missed them, thank the Lord,” said Melissa Michalek, Edward’s mother.
Edward, who liked to be called Eddie, died in the backyard.
Melissa and husband, Tom Michalek, said that oak trunk held that hammock for years and seemed stable in the ground.
“This was a freak accident that led to the tragic loss of a young life,” said Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott in a press release Wednesday. “Our thoughts are with Edward’s family during this difficult time.”
Eddie was the fifth of seven children.
Family described him as delightful, artistic, mischievous and adventurous.
“He's the boy that sees through the chaos of the day and knows who to go snuggle up with and who to cheer up with his goofiness, said Melissa.
A gofundme page has raised more than $3,700 for the family by Wednesday evening.
RELATED LINK: GoFundMe website for Edward's family
In September, a similar incident occurred in a Bemidji park, when a rotted tree came down on a woman in a hammock, partially paralyzing her.
Michaleks said they read that story and talked about removing the dead oak from the back yard, but had not gotten around to it yet.