Donated Toy Trucks Honor Young Zoo Victim

About 3K pour in after death of Maddox Derkosh in Pittsburgh

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 9, 2012 3:55 PM CST

(Newser) – Toy construction trucks have been pouring into the funeral home handling arrangements for a 2-year-old boy who was fatally mauled when he fell into a wild dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh zoo. The parents of Maddox Derkosh requested the toys instead of flowers because their son liked them. More than 3,000 have been donated, and the William Slater II funeral home says it will continue accepting the trucks even after the boy's funeral today. The family intends to donate the trucks to a charity that will distribute them to needy children on Christmas.

"We will never forget this as long as we live," said funeral director William Slater as he stood among dozens of toy trucks in a viewing room. Investigations continue into the boy's death, which happened after he fell from a wooden railing overlooking the exhibit Sunday at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The boy's mother placed him on the rail and he somehow slipped away, bounced off a small net, and fell about 10 feet more into the enclosed exhibit. The county medical examiner determined that the boy survived the fall but bled to death from the attack.

A woman collects toy trucks at the funeral of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh at Saint Bernard Church in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Friday.
A woman collects toy trucks at the funeral of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh at Saint Bernard Church in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Friday.   (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Justin Merriman)
Family members arrive at the funeral of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh.
Family members arrive at the funeral of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh.   (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Justin Merriman)
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