Boy Scout accidentally hangs himself while practicing for a badge

knotsA 10-year-old boy died Friday night after a freak accident that occurred while he was practicing his knot tying techniques for a Boy Scout badge. AJ Underwood of Oneonta, Alabama was in his room playing with a rope when he seems to have slipped and gotten caught in it. His mother went to search for him before heading out to a birthday party and found his lifeless body hanging from the top bunk of his bed. Neighbors tried to resuscitate him with CPR, but it was too late to save the child.

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AJ Underwood was reportedly in "good spirits," doing well in school, and just a happy, smiling child so there's no reason to believe that this was done on purpose, but the result is heartbreaking any way you tell it. A young life was lost while he was trying to get something he really wanted: a simple Boy Scout merit badge. His mother must be completely beside herself since finding her sweet little boy and realizing that he's been taken from her forever. He must have been so eager to teach himself a new skill because when he arrived home that day, he immediately unpacked his Boy Scout bag and ran off with the rope he'd been given to practice.

I guess you assume that after a certain age, children can be left unattended without worries that they'll get into something they shouldn't be doing or that they will seriously injure themselves in their own bedroom. Who knows what happened in that moment before tragedy struck or what AJ was trying to do, but it's so sad to imagine him suffering in such a way. He was pronounced dead at the hospital and doctors said the boy died instantly, but it's still an unimaginable pain left for his family. They've set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for his funeral expenses and they've already collected more than half of their $20,000 goal. You can learn more about AJ's life, read tributes loved ones have left behind, and help donate to the grieving family's cost of laying their baby to rest.

Image via Corbis

Topics: array  accident  dead children  death