Yukon coroner wants soccer goals checked after girl's death

Coroner's report says goal that collapsed in Watson Lake was in poor condition with rusting joints and missing screws.

Jaedyn Amann, 5, died in July after goal collapsed and struck her in the head

A Yukon coroner's report into the death of a Watson Lake girl who was killed when a soccer goal fell on her is recommending the government take steps to ensure goals are properly maintained.

In July, Jaedyn Amann, 5, was struck on the head when the goal on the field at Watson Lake Secondary School collapsed while she was crawling on the grass nearby. It apparently collapsed after being touched or shaken by a three-year-old.

Jaedyn Amann, 5, died July 4 in Watson Lake from head injuries sustained when a soccer goal collapsed and struck her on the head. (Paul Amann/Facebook)

Amann was rushed to Watson Lake Hospital where she was pronounced dead a few hours later. The coroner's report says she died from blunt force head injuries, and classifies her death as accidental.

The report says the goal, which weighed 80 kilograms, was found to be in poor condition with rusting joints and missing screws. "The net collapsed easily by an adult applying the pressure of just one finger to the soccer goal," the report said.

The coroner recommends regular safety inspections of all soccer goals in the territory and legislation of standards for safety, anchoring and safe storage practices. The coroner’s report also recommends attaching warning labels to goals about the risk of tipping.

Paul Amann, Jaedyn’s father, said the recommendations are little consolation, and his family's days are still filled with "what ifs."

"Too little, too late — in our family I guess is how we look at that now," he said. "If only this would have been done years earlier, our daughter would still be with us.

"If [the goals] would have been taken off the field or somebody had noticed they were in poor shape like that they should have ended up in the landfill or something. It's something we live with every day."

The coroner's report said there are no confirmed prior deaths or injuries related to the soccer goals in Watson Lake and there is no record of complaints about the goals. But the report states there have been three confirmed deaths in Canada due to soccer goals and at least 21 in the United States between 1979 and 1994.