Young student at San Rafael school dies in accident on playground

A 7-year-old boy died Thursday after a large, rolling chain link fence came out of its track and fell on him at a private school in San Rafael, police said. 

Officers were called to the playground at Mark Day School around 12:20 Thursday afternoon following a 911 call that a child had been pinned by a gate 

"They boy was playing near the fence. I don't have the information if he was on it or around it," said San Rafael Police Lieutenant Dan Fink. "But, at some point, the fence fell off the track, and hit the boy and pinned him to the ground." 

School workers called 911 immediately. By the time first responders arrived, school staff had freed the boy and were administering first aid. Paramedics took him to a nearby Kaiser Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The school provided grief counselors on the final Friday before the winter break and sent a note to parents saying students, faculty, and staff witnessed the event. The note read in part, "The death of someone so young is devastating for all of us, and even more so under these circumstances and at this time of year, when we are surrounded by celebrations while we mourn."

While police are conducting a thorough investigation, San Rafael police say at this time there is nothing to indicate that there was any criminal wrongdoing. 

"We've been trying to go back to the scene, manipulate the fence," said Fin. "Trying to find out why and how. We don't feel that there's criminal negligence at this point, but we're going to be looking into it to see exactly what happened."

Police said they owe it to the family of the little boy to provide as best an answer as possible for the impossible question of why.