ALEXANDRIA, VA – A 9-year-old boy died after his head was crushed by a motorized room partition inside the gym of his elementary school.

The incident happened Friday afternoon at Franconia Elementary school after Wesley Lipicky and a teacher both pressed a button to open a large, motorized room partition in the school’s gym.

Somehow the boy was caught between the partition and the wall and suffered “traumatic head injuries” as a result.

Lipicky was rushed to the hospital where he later died. The death has been ruled accidental and no charges are expected to be filed.

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand said in a statement that the school district is “working closely” with law enforcement to review the accident, and “to review safety protocols and procedures.”

Going by the school’s Facebook page, it looks like Wesley was at the school helping setup a grade 3 to 6 fund-raising dance that was going to happen later that evening.

Crisis counselors are at the school today to support students, staff, and parents. The school’s principal released the following statement:

Dear Parents,
I am deeply saddened to report to you the death of third grade student Wesley Lipicky, who died late yesterday from injuries he received in a tragic accident that occurred in the school gym during SACC.

Any death is difficult for children to understand; Wesley’s death is particularly difficult due to his young age and its unexpectedness. If you and your family knew Wesley, I encourage you to talk about this. A team of Franconia support staff members including our counselors, psychologist, social worker and members of an FCPS crisis team will be available to support students, staff, and parents in the days ahead. The team will help our classroom teachers talk with students and handle their questions and reactions.

Children have different reactions to death. There is additional information with this letter that may help you as you talk with your child. Please contact the school if your child is having difficulty with the news, and needs an opportunity to speak to someone when school resumes.

Fairfax County Police are investigating the accident and we will be supporting them as they look into the circumstances that caused this terrible loss.

On behalf of all members of the Franconia community, our deepest condolences are with Wesley’s family and friends during this difficult time. We will miss Wesley very much. He was an endearing child whose bright smile and enthusiasm for school inspired the love of all who knew him.

Thank you for your support and understanding.


Terri Edmunds-Heard, Principal

We’ve reported on a myriad of kids who have died accidentally at school, including the girl who died while playing on monkey bars, the boy who died after a lunch table fell on his head, and the kid that accidentally hanged himself with his own shirt.

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