The kindergarten worker said she can't remember much about what happened — just everyone screaming and trying to get the children out of the playground. She thought of the seven two-year-olds first and remembers she had only a few more feet to go to get to safety herself, but there weren't enough precious seconds left. Everyone made it out of the playground in time, except for the young Alabama woman who, two months later, is still struggling to recover from the severe and painful job-related injuries she suffered on the cloudy May afternoon that changed her life in just a few seconds.
It was 3 p.m. when the injured woman and three other kindergarten workers were finishing up a party for the kids when they heard the loud cracking sound. A wide and dangerously heavy tree limb was on its way down from where it had broken away from a massive tree that towered 20 feet above the playground. After narrowly getting the kids out of the way in time, the woman found herself pinned between the heavy fallen limb and a fence. Over 30 people worked together to remove the limb from the still conscious trapped woman, but it wouldn't budge.
The woman was eventually freed by police and firefighters with the help of a chainsaw and rushed to a hospital where she was placed on a ventilator and treated for severe injuries including two collapsed lungs, a broken pelvis, and multiple compound fractures. The local police chief said the young woman's actions were true heroism -- she could have run off to save herself, but she didn't. She is still confined to a wheelchair and hopes to be able to walk again by the end of the year.
The young Alabama woman, since she was injured while performing the duties of her job, is likely eligible for workers' compensation. The facts behind the accident, however, may point to possible third-party negligence with regard to the safety of the playground and the tree limb that came crashing down on it. If this is proven to be the case, the heroic young Alabama kindergarten worker may have separate recourse to the appropriate third-party liability civil remedies to compensate for the pain and emotional trauma and other monetary damages that resulted from her job-related injuries.
Source: therepublic.com, "Hit by falling limb on church playground, Alabama woman still recovering from May accident," Emily Adams, June 27, 2013