The investigation continues in the death of a toddler near Midgley Bridge on Saturday. Sept. 2.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Erika Wiltenmuth said there is no new information on the case as sheriff’s investigators wait for information from the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.
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At around 2 p.m., CCSO deputies, the Sedona Fire District, Sedona Police Department and U.S. Forest Service crews responded to Midgley Bridge for a report of a 2-year-old boy who fell an estimated 50 to 60 feet down a cliff along the Huckaby Trail. When crews got to the boy, he was pronounced deceased.
The boy and his family were visiting from Omaha, Neb., and were hiking down to Oak Creek from the trailhead that begins near the bridge’s public parking area.
“Our thoughts are with the family in this difficult time,” SFD Chief Kris Kazian said. “Sedona Fire District personnel responded quickly, rappelling down to the child but unfortunately we were not able to change the outcome. While any call that ends like this is tough, it is even more difficult when it involves a child.”
For incidents like this one, or any other that involves death or tragedy, SFD deploys its Critical Incident Stress Management team. This includes trained firefighters and personnel, as well as a psychologist who volunteers her time to talk with the firefighters if needed. Kazian said they take a passive approach but they make the firefighters aware of the professional help that is there for them when needed.
“It may be something as simple as what we did, contacting the firefighter a couple times over the weekend who went down to the boy just to make sure he’s OK,” Kazian said. “We also talked to the dispatcher who took the call, to see how she’s doing. With as many agencies as there was there that day, that’s a pretty wide net of people who saw what happened and were impacted. That’s why it’s important to watch for the signs, because this was a very tragic event.”