Dugout collapses, kills college baseball player in central Pennsylvania
A college baseball player in Pennsylvania was fatally injured when a dugout collapsed on top of him Monday afternoon.
The incident occurred as 19-year-old Angel Mercado was helping to disassemble the structure, officials announced Thursday.
Mercado had just completed his freshman season playing the infield for Division II Central Penn College, and was taking part in a summer recreation league, reports NBC News. His team rented the 7th & Radnor Sports Park in Harrisburg to use for their league games.
The makeshift dugout had reportedly been constructed by Mercado’s coach, and the city informed him on Sunday that the structure was not permitted on public grounds.
Mercado was among those assisting the coach in tearing down the dugout when it suddenly collapsed and he suffered a fatal blow to the face.
After being rushed to the hospital, Mercado passed away late Tuesday night, according to Harrisburg city spokesman Matt Maisel. No criminal charges are expected to be filed.
“Nothing criminal happened here,” said Maisel. “No charges will be filed against the coach. No charges will be filed against anyone. This is simply a tragedy.”
An emotional Gerardo Diaz, the coach of Mercado’s rec league team, spoke with NBC News.
“The name of the team is Harrisburg Internationals, but what I want you to do, I want you to change it to Angels — Harrisburg International Angels,” Diaz said.
Central Penn College, where Mercado was a student, is located in Summerdale, just 6 miles west of the park where Mercado lost his life.
“Our Central Penn College family is devastated by the loss of Angel,” said school President Linda Fedrizzi-Williams in a statement.
“As friends who have become family, we are mourning the heart-wrenching loss of one of our own, a promising young athlete who senselessly lost his life while helping others enjoy the sport he loved so much,” she added. “No words can adequately express our anguish.