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Overland Park boy is killed in Alabama airport accident

  • Star and news service reports
  • Published Friday, March 22, 2013, at 8:30 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 1:02 a.m.

An Overland Park boy was killed and three other members of his family were injured Friday when a heavy flight information sign fell on them at the Birmingham, Ala., airport.

Ten-year-old Luke Bresette was fatally injured when the sign, estimated to weigh 300 to 400 pounds, came loose from a wall and fell on top of him, his mother and two siblings.

Jefferson County, Ala., Deputy Coroner Derrick Perryman confirmed Friday that Luke was from Overland Park.

“He was a beautiful boy,” uncle Alex Bresette told The Birmingham News. “He was great in school. He was bright and inquisitive.”

Luke’s mother, Heather Bresette, was taken to a hospital with two broken ankles and a fractured pelvis, the newspaper said.

Sam Bresette, 8, had a broken leg and nose.

Tyler Bresette, 5, had a concussion.

The father, Ryan Bresette, and two of Luke’s other siblings were not injured.

Luke was in the fifth grade at St. Thomas More School, The Birmingham News said. He was active in sports and in choir.

According to Ryan Bresette’s Facebook page, the family had been returning home from a trip to Destin, Fla. He posted pictures of his kids on the beach.

Heather Bresette’s LinkedIn profile says she is co-owner of Red Bridge Enterprises, a sales and marketing company.

The accident at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. in a pre-security area.

Albert Osorio of Birmingham told the local newspaper that he was nearby when the digital arrival-and-departure sign fell.

He said a loud boom was followed by screams from the family and witnesses.

Then he and five other passers-by lifted the sign.

“The whole thing flipped down on those kids,” Osorio said. “It took all of us here to stand it back up. Everybody started screaming.”

Osorio said the sign appeared to have been attached to the wall “only with liquid nails,” an adhesive.

Airport spokeswoman Toni Herrera-Bast said officials were not sure how the sign fell and an investigation was under way.

The Birmingham News reported that the sign was removed from the terminal and a special meeting of the Birmingham Airport Authority had been called for Saturday morning.

The accident occurred in a new terminal at the airport that opened last week following a $201 million modernization effort.

Mayor William Bell of Birmingham released a statement Friday promising the city’s support in the investigation.

The Star’s Matt Campbell and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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