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Two Year Old's Fatal Fall at Lakers Game Raises Negligence Question

By Heather Turgeon |

Boy falls Laker Game at Staples Center

Staples Center tragedy

I just learned of a tragedy that took place at the Staples Center last night when two-year-old Lucas Anthony Tang fell to his death from a luxury suite where his family was watching the Lakers game.

Tang, his parents, and older sister watched the Lakers play the Golden State Warriors, and moments after the game came a fatal accident that no doubt will change their lives forever. It has also brought up questions of child negligence.

According to the LA Times, who sourced the Los Angeles Police Department, the boy was crawling around in the box during the game. Moments after it ended, around 9:00 p.m., his parents were taking pictures of him.  Then, they allegedly started looking at the photos on their digital camera (taking their eyes off their son). He made his way to the glass partition of the box and fell 50 feet.

The parents didn’t see it happen, and later started searching for him. Witnesses told the LA Times the boy was moving when he was put on a stretcher, but after being taken to the ER at USC, he died of head injuries, according to a spokeswoman for the LAPD.

It’s heartbreaking. And there is no possible way to know the nightmare this family is living right now. According to the LA Times, the LAPD’s child abuse unit is investigating, which is a standard procedure in cases like this — it doesn’t necessarily mean the family will face any legal repercussions.

If the accounts are accurate, the parents clearly lost sight of him because they were looking at his pictures, which sends my heart right into my throat.

There have been times when I’m taking a picture of my son and realize I’m not fully doing my job as a parent to watch and keep him safe (we love our cameras, but no doubt they split our focus). The situation has never been so precarious as in this case, but it reminds you that accidents do happen, and fast.

From the details we know, do you think this is negligence, or just tragic accident that we just take as a cautionary tale?

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investigated by LAPD’s child abuse unit

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About Heather Turgeon


Heather Turgeon

Heather Turgeon is currently writing the book The Happy Sleeper (Penguin, 2014). She's a therapist-turned-writer who authors the Science of Kids column for Babble. A northeasterner at heart, Heather lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two little ones. Read bio and latest posts → Read Heather's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Two Year Old's Fatal Fall at Lakers Game Raises Negligence Question

  1. goddess says:

    OhMyGosh- Tragic Accident, to be sure. My heart goes out to them.

  2. Nicky's mom says:

    Clearly we can’t know what happened. Even if this is a case of negligence, it’s the most terrible accident. We’ve all been distracted while watching our kids at one time or another. I can’t imagine what those parents are going through. Just unimaginable guilt, I’m sure.

  3. clara says:

    I can’t judge, it could happen to any of us. I feel so bad for the family.

  4. chibucks says:

    what a tragedy. heart goes out to the tang family…

  5. John Cave Osborne says:

    i’m with ciara. tragic accident. just horrible stuff. so sad.

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