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Mom fights for change after son dies playing soccer

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A Virginia boy was killed by soccer goal that fell on top of him during a game. Now, more than five years later, local politicians will consider legislation aimed at preventing such tragedies from happening again.

Mary Ellias will not forget the soccer game that claimed her son Hayden’s life back in 2007.

Hayden was playing goalie in Winchester, Virginia when the goal he was defending fell over on the back of his head.

“The night Hayden died, I can very vividly see myself standing over him,” Ellias said.

Elias supports new legislation introduced this session by State Senator Jill Vogel (R-Winchester). The bill would basically ban the sale of any soccer goal in Virginia that is not rated as “tip resistant.”

Also, organizations that own the goals would be required to develop safety protocols for how they secure their goals.

“When you get hit by one of these soccer goals it’s about the same impact as being hit by a sledge hammer,” Greg Demspey, who owns a company that focuses on making safer soccer goals, said.

A report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated 120 people are sent the hospital each year from goals falling on them. Dempsey said the organizations that own the goals are partially to blame for this number.

“They don’t do what needs to be done to properly secure these goals unless they are forced to with legislation,” Dempsey said.

Elias said she will fight for the legislation.

“I promised that I would do something: to do my best to not let this happen again,” she said.