Report: Flagpole That Fell And Killed Girl Was Rusted

Sunday, September 9th 2007, 9:10 pm
By: News On 6

FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) _ A new report says a flagpole that broke in high winds and killed a kindergartner in April was rusted inside and out, according to a newspaper.

Five-year-old Angel Pocock-Smith of the Detroit suburb of Oak Park was playing in the Roosevelt Primary School courtyard during recess on April 16 when the steel pole fell.

The report from a Columbus, Ohio-based firm hired by the Ferndale School District to examine the accident was filed in May. It was obtained by the Detroit Free Press, which reported the findings in a story Sunday.

SEA Ltd. concluded that the flagpole broke because two lamp arms clamped to its sides held water for years and caused the corrosion to the pole, estimated to be at least 60 years old.

Bob Darling, attorney for Pocock-Smith's family, said he notified the school district of his plans to file a lawsuit within a few weeks.

``It was rusted all over the place,'' Darling told the Free Press.

Ferndale school officials declined to comment, referring questions to attorney Suzanne Bartos. Bartos said the district has no records of the flagpole's installation or maintenance, and hired the consultant to determine the cause of the accident in preparation for a possible lawsuit.