Freak Basketball Accident Kills 16-Year-Old

Noah Lear initially thought he'd just knocked out some teeth
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2016 12:21 PM CDT
Freak Basketball Accident Kills 16-Year-Old
Noah Lear is shown in an image from his GoFundMe campaign.   (GoFundMe)

A game of pickup basketball turned tragic for a teen in Bucyrus, Ohio. Noah Lear, 16, was shooting hoops with three friends on Feb. 27 when he went to dunk the ball—and the support post, backboard, and rim fell and crushed the teen's head and neck. He was able to call his mom, and "he just said that he had an accident and his mouth was bleeding really bad and he knocked a few teeth out," Melissa Griffin tells the Galion Inquirer. He told her emergency responders were taking him to the hospital, and when she met him there, "the bleeding was so bad and he just kept saying he was sorry," Griffin tells the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum. But Noah never recovered, and an update on a Facebook page created to track his progress says that he died Wednesday morning.

After the accident, one friend held Noah's head still while the others called 911. He was revived twice at a local hospital after going into cardiac arrest, and then flown to a larger hospital, his mother says. He was put into a medically induced coma and went through surgeries and MRIs, but he never came out of the coma, and on Monday, doctors determined his brain injuries were more traumatic than originally thought, and he was moved to hospice care. "The part of his brain that controls his heart and blood pressure has been damaged very badly," a GoFundMe campaign for the teen explains. Per his Facebook page, "His accident ... has reminded us all that anything can happen in the blink of an eye." Says Griffin: "He was just playing ball with his friends, like he loved to do. It’s so hard to make sense of all of this." (More freak accident stories.)

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