ABC 27 reported on a tragic incident in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where a makeshift wooden dugout collapsed on a baseball field, resulting in the unfortunate death of a 19-year-old college player.
Angel Mercado-Ocasio, a student at Central Penn College, suffered severe head trauma when the dugout, built with the help of his teammates, collapsed. The Cumberland County coroner ruled the incident as an accident.
During the incident, Coach Gerardo Diaz was present and performed CPR on Angel for over three minutes. Angel briefly regained consciousness before being taken to the hospital, but sadly, he succumbed to his injuries two days later.
The fatal accident occurred while Mercado-Ocasio and his teammates were dismantling the unauthorized makeshift dugout they had constructed. The city had instructed them to remove it due to the lack of proper permits.
Coach Diaz, who was helping dismantle the dugout, expressed his feelings of responsibility, stating that he had tried his best to protect Angel and reprimanded the players for playing around.
The city officials stated that they would not pursue legal action against the players or the coach, according to Matt Maisel, the director of communications for the city of Harrisburg.
Central Penn College President Linda Fedrizzi-Williams released a statement expressing the college’s devastation over the loss of Angel and mourning the tragic loss of a promising young athlete.
The Central Penn baseball team also released a statement, expressing their anguish and stating that they would all be changed by Angel’s absence.
Mayor Wanda Williams described Mercado-Ocasio’s death as “heart-wrenching” and urged the residents of Harrisburg to pray for Angel’s friends, family, and teammates.
Mercado-Ocasio, who was born in Harrisburg, was a freshman athlete who played as a shortstop and second baseman. His teammates described him as one of the hardest working players.
College counselors have been made available to support the grieving students and staff during this difficult time.