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McCandless boy hurt in zip line accident dies in Children's Hospital

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Rex Smith (from his 7th Grade yearbook at Ingomar Middle School) died on Tuesday June 10, 2014, from injuries suffered in a zip line accident in McCandless.

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By Megan Harris and Michael Hasch
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 4:51 p.m.

A 13-year-old McCandless boy died on Tuesday of injuries suffered in an accident during the weekend involving a homemade zip line, a spokesman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Rex Smith, an eighth-grader at Ingomar Middle School who would have turned 14 this month, according to family friend, died at 2:36 p.m. in Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville, where he was taken for treatment of head injuries, the spokesman said.

His death was ruled an accident after consultations with McCandless police and hospital physicians, the spokesman said.

The accident occurred at 3:53 p.m. Sunday off Poor Richards Lane, where Smith and friends were playing on the zip line that was about four feet off the ground, investigators said.

One of the fasteners that secured the line pulled free and hit Smith in the back of the head, investigators said.

He had been on life support since the incident, and North Allegheny School District officials told students on Tuesday morning that Smith had been injured.

Kevin Driscoll, a friend of the family, was at the Smith home while doctors completed an organ harvest surgery and his parents said goodbye.

“It was too bad of a brain injury,” Driscoll said softly. “His organs are going to be donated to help other kids stay alive.”

No funeral arrangements have been made, he said.

“Rex was a good kid, big into Boy Scouts. He played hockey and soccer in the past,” Driscoll said. “He was just a good, all-around kid.”

Megan Harris and Michael Hasch are staff writers for Trib Total Media.

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