Toddler died of traumatic injuries
LOS ANGELES -- An autopsy conducted Tuesday on a 2-year-old boy who plunged from a skybox after a Los Angeles Lakers game determined that his death was an accident.
Police and paramedics said Lucas Anthony Tang suffered massive head injuries in the Sunday night fall at Staples Center, but Los Angeles County coroner's Capt. John Kades said the official cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries.
The toddler fell from a third-level luxury box and landed on a row of seats minutes after the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors. He died at a hospital.
The Lakers held a moment of silence for Tang before Tuesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls. The luxury box from where he fell was filled with fans as usual.
The Police Department's juvenile division launched a probe and the arena also was investigating.
The division procedurally investigates sudden deaths of children under 11, and the probe did not necessarily indicate a crime was involved, Officer Julie Sohn said.
Sohn released few details of the incident, saying only that the boy's family was taking photographs and "somehow the child went over the edge of the section."
No one answered the door of a Garden Grove home believed to be the boy's residence. A vehicle with a Lakers decal was parked in the driveway of the house, and a basketball hoop was nearby.
Michael Roth, a spokesman for Staples and owner AEG, said no such incidents have occurred in the 11-year history of the downtown arena.
Roth said the toddler fell from the third tier of boxes, or about 30 feet, into a general seating area about 30 rows up from the court. Each box has tiers of seats with safety glass embedded in concrete walls.
The building is in compliance with city codes, which require guardrails to be at least 26 inches high in front of seats, Department of Building and Safety spokesman David Lara said.
The safety barrier consists of 16-inch-high concrete topped by glass ranging in height from 10 inches in front of the seats to 26 inches near steps, Roth said. That would put the total height of the barrier at 26 inches to 42 inches, depending on the location. The concrete also has a ledge to place drinks in the concrete below the glass, Roth added.
The arena is home to the NBA's Lakers and Clippers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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