BELLEVUE – The door to a ladder on a wind turbine at Bellevue High School wasn’t locked, allowing access to a teen who fell and died from his injuries, the victim’s friend told Bellevue Police.
Ernesto W. Garcia, 17, died early Monday at a Toledo hospital after the friend and another teen loaded Garcia’s unconscious body into a car and took him to Bellevue Hospital. He was later transferred to a Toledo hospital.
School officials told police a padlock on the door accessing the ladder inside the turbine was in place the last time they checked. Over the past month, an insurance risk assessor and turbine brake inspector have been at the turbine, they said.
The teen who attempted to climb the structure with Garcia reported they had shared a bottle of liquor Sunday evening and were both “pretty drunk,” according to police reports.
That boy said Garcia saw the turbine while the two were walking near the hospital and coaxed him to climb it with him. He estimated that Garcia fell off the ladder inside when he was at least 60 feet above the concrete floor beneath.
A preliminary autopsy by the Lucas County Coroner’s office found the cause of Garcia’s death to be blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso. The doctor performing the autopsy said the death will likely be ruled accidental, pending evidence to the contrary.
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