Police in Scranton said the death of a toddler Monday morning was a tragic accident.
The child died after falling five stories from a high-rise window in the city.
Police took pictures from the open fifth story window, then marked evidence on the sidewalk below. Though it looked like a crime scene, police said it was a tragic accident:
Two-year-old Brian Kochis died after falling five stories out an open window in his great grandfather’s apartment.
It happened in the back of the Washington West high rise on North Washington Avenue in Scranton.
Bailey Stasny of Taylor was standing just across the street when the child fell.
“I looked out the window, I went out for a cigarette and I seen something falling. At first I thought it was a cat. Then I found out it was a two-year-old boy,” Stasny said.
Little Brian was rushed to Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton where he died from his injuries. Also taken to CMC was the boy’s great grandfather who was watching the child at the time. Police said the toddler climbed up on a heating unit in front of the window and slipped out since the window did not have a screen.
“My screen, I can’t even get out, let alone push it out. If he was fooling around and the force maybe? We don’t know,” said Washington West resident Jane Roberts.
“Each apartment is equipped with screens. I don’t know if there are regulations as to whether they need to be in 24/7,” said Karl Lynott of the Scranton Housing Authority.
Police said they do not know why that particular window did not have a screen or why it was open in the first place, but that the fall was strictly an accident.
That has neighbors at Washington West shaken up.
“I gave him a piece of cake, because he wanted a piece he was looking at it, and I said ‘I’ll give you a piece, honey.’ After that, he took the cake upstairs, a few seconds, and it just happened. Nobody can believe it,” said Washington West resident Deborah Burke.
Officials with Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton said the child’s great grandfather, Charles Williams, was treated and released from the hospital.
Officials from the Scranton Housing Authority said they plan to have grief counselors on hand for tenants this week.