Children in two states die after getting stuck in automated parking garage gates

Dedric Holt
Posted at 5:38 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 21:07:56-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two children have died after getting stuck in automated parking garage gates in different states.

One of those cases happened in Nashville exactly one year ago. On the anniversary of the child’s death, his aunt said it’s heartbreaking to find out about another incident.

7-year-old Dedric Holt was playing on a playground when police said he started climbing on the automated gate that leads to the parking garage. It rolled up, and investigators said he got stuck in the motor's shaft for nearly fifteen minutes. He later died at the hospital. His aunt Kia Summers said, "I feel like it’s just horrible. It’s horrible that it happened to us, it’s horrible that it happened to them."

Last week, a 6-year-old boy in Orlando, Florida died after getting caught in an automated garage gate. His mom posted on a Go Fund Me page that they were raising money for the child’s funeral. We reached out but did not immediately hear back. "These children will never have the opportunity to graduate high school, to have another birthday,” Summers said, “And it’s all due to a gate."

Summers said the gates look identical in pictures. We have not been able to determine if the garage gates are manufactured by the same company. Summers said, "As of now, we aren’t sure about that, we are looking to figure that out, but I do know that the gates were made the exact same way."

In Nashville, there's a warning sign posted next to the gate at the MDHA property called Mosley on the 6th.

Automated garage gate
Warning sign posted on an automated gate in Nashville, Tennessee.

Alexandra Koehn: “Do you believe it would be safer to have those crossing arms that go up and down?” Kia Summers: “Yes, absolutely.”

After speaking about the incident last year, Summers wants someone to take preventative action. Summers said, “We wanted to make sure that there were things put in place so that this same thing would not happen to another child."

A Florida attorney contacted Kia's family about the Nashville case due to the similarities. We left a voicemail with them.