NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A two-year-old has passed away after being hit by a metal soccer goal.
Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said the incident happened around 1:40 p.m. Sunday in the 2300 block of Antioch Pike.
Reports stated high winds blew the heavy metal soccer goal over, striking and killing the two-year-old girl. The child had been running on the field when the incident happened.
The young victim was identified as Melanie Espinoza Rodriguez. She was taken to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt where she passed away.
Rodriguez was closest to the goal as she was playing with other children after an adult soccer game at International Indoor Soccer Complex.
Tennessee State Soccer Association Executive Director Hans Hobson says her loss is devastating not only for the family but the soccer community.
He said the association reminds registered soccer programs the safety guidelines including proper anchoring of soccer goals.
It is up the program to enforce the regulations even though there are no state law to do so. Certified referees are also responsible for inspecting the goals and that they are properly secured prior to a game.
"When bad things happen, you want to look at what you're doing internally and how we disseminate each information," Hobson told NewsChannel 5. "We may have to require clubs to give us feedback as we move forward in the future. One death is too many and we want to do our part in making clubs are aware of the risk associated with soccer goals."
The family of Melanie told NewsChannel 5 that they are thankful for all of the support they have received.
International Indoor Soccer Complex released a statement:
"It is with heavy hearts that we send our deepest condolences to the Rodriguez family for the loss of their precious child. Inter Nashville FC and International Soccer Complex was founded with community and families as our top priority. We will be here alongside this family to support them through this very difficult time. Our staff will be reviewing all of our safety guidelines, both on the field and off. We will continue to pray for this family and ask that our community show them the love and support that they will need going forward."
"This weekend during our home opener Inter Nashville FC vs. FC Carolina Discoveries, we will be taking up a collection to assist the Rodriquez family during this difficult time. 100% all gate and parking revenue will go to the family to help them in this difficult time."