Mom of boy killed by Ala. airport sign unconscious

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2013 at 7:59 am •  Published: March 25, 2013
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — As airport officials tried to figure out how a 300-pound arrival-departure panel fell off the wall and onto a family, the mother of a boy who was killed by the sign lay in a hospital with her own injuries, still unaware of what happened.

Heather Bresette and two of her other sons were seriously hurt when the panel fell Friday at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. She had surgeries for broken ankles and a crushed pelvis over the weekend, but she was still in intensive care and unconscious.

"She does not know that her baby is dead," the family's priest, the Rev. Don Farnan, said.

The Bresettes, a family of seven, took a weeklong spring break vacation to Destin, Fla., and were about to fly home to Overland Park, Kan., when the flight information panel fell.

Luke Bresette, the middle of five children, was killed. His brother, 5-year-old Tyler, suffered a concussion. His 8-year-old brother, Sam, had a broken leg and nose.

Tyler was released from a children's hospital Sunday; Sam was still there.

The boys' father, Ryan Bresette, and an older son and daughter, were at the airport when the sign fell but not hurt.

Heather Bresette's condition improved to serious on Sunday, University Hospital spokeswoman Nicole Wyatt said.

During their vacation, the family swam in the Gulf of Mexico and Luke went parasailing for the first time.

"His dad said he was thrilled. He was an adventurous kid. He loved sports," said Farnan, a priest at St. Thomas More in Kansas City, Mo.

After the sign fell, it took six people to lift the large board and a dozen people to hold it up while first responders administered aid. Officials were investigating how the sign fell at the newly renovated airport and took down an identical billboard on Saturday.