Boy, 4, Killed in Freak Accidental Stabbing
Bralyn Shively dies after hammock breaks, he falls on uncle holding knife
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2014 11:59 AM CST
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – As far as stabbings go, this one is as improbable as it is tragic: A 4-year-old Oklahoma boy was killed Saturday in a freak accident involving a hammock and a knife. His uncle, Chris Coates, 35, was visiting from Iowa and was lying in a hammock in the Oklahoma City backyard, whittling, when Bralyn Shively came over and started playfully pushing the hammock, the Oklahoman reports. The hammock broke free of the tree, dropping Coates to the ground. Bralyn somehow fell on top of him—and was stabbed in the chest with the knife Coates had been holding. A police sergeant describes the knife as a "pocket knife" to KFOR-TV, and says the boy was "impaled."

Coates called for someone to dial 911, but Bralyn died at a hospital. Police say the stabbing was accidental, and the DA's office confirms no criminal charges will be filed. The family agrees, telling News 9 Coates was a favorite uncle and a master woodworker who did everything he could to save the boy, who had turned 4 just four days prior. "Bralyn (showered) love on his family and friends, and everyone loved him," says the family in a statement. "He called his brothers and sisters [who were also playing with Coates at the time] his best friends. If you asked him what he was doing, he would respond 'playing with my best friends.'"