Little League World Series player in critical condition after fall

Utah makes the Little League World Series
The Mountain Region champion Little League team from Santa Clara, Utah, rides in the Little League Grand Slam Parade in downtown Williamsport, Pa., Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. The Little League World Series baseball tournament, featuring 20 teams from around the world, starts Wednesday in South Williamsport, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

A 12-year-old Little League World Series player from Utah is in critical condition after suffering a head injury when he fell off the top bunk of his bed at the dormitory complex.

Easton Oliverson is a pitcher and outfielder for the Snow Canyon team out of Santa Clara, Utah. The Little League World Series is set to begin Wednesday in Williamsport, and Snow Canyon is the first Utah team in the state’s history to qualify for the Little League World Series

Easton’s dad, Jace Oliverson, is an assistant coach on the Snow Canyon team. “I’ve always been a firm believer of prayer and the power that comes with it, and I feel like if people continue to rally around us that he will make a full recovery,” Oliverson told KSL-TV. “Right now it’s slow. They keep telling me it’s a cross-country race.”

Jace Oliverson and his wife Nancy are with their son at the hospital. He gave an update on his son’s condition through Facebook and said doctors told him his son had punctured an artery which caused bleeding on the brain and needed a piece of skull removed.

The boy’s uncle has served as family spokesperson and told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Easton fell off the bed while he was sleeping and hit his head. Photographs have shown that the bunk beds in the complex don’t have railings, which has called into question the safety of having so many kids sleeping on top bunks without any safety measures. 

“We’re just at the point now where he’s just in recovery,” Spencer Beck said in a phone interview. “The teammates heard him fall, thank goodness. When they got into surgery, the doctor talked to Jace and said had he not gotten into surgery but 30 minutes later, he would have been dead.”

Beck said Easton is still using a breathing tube.

Little League World Series officials released a statement Tuesday that said they spoke with the Oliverson family and “were pleased to hear that his medical team remains encouraged by his progress.”

Snow Canyon is scheduled to play its first game Friday against the winner of teams from Massachusetts and Tennessee.

“As hard as it will be to not have Easton out there playing, they’re still from this community, this is still a historical moment for the state, for Little League, and for our community,” Beck said. “We’re cheering them on and maybe they’ll have a little inspiration from Easton and they’ll go win it all. That would be awesome.”

The family has set up a Venmo account for the kid nicknamed “Tank” to help with bills and expenses.

“We want to make sure when Easton wakes up, he’s mentally there for us and can progress from there,” Beck said.

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