A toddler was crushed to death at a chiropractor's office while his mother was strapped to a table and screamed for help, authorities said Friday.
Amy Elizabeth Newton, of Mounds View, and her 18-month-old son, Benjamin Bryan Newton, were at First Chiropractic in the St. Paul suburb of Shoreview on Thursday afternoon. The staff had left them unattended when the boy crawled under the therapy table to which his mother was strapped, Ramsey County sheriff's spokesman Randy Gustafson said. The boy then accidentally hit a button that lowered the electric table onto him, he said.
Newton screamed to summon help. Clinic employees rushed to the room, raised the table and began CPR on the boy, but he died of head trauma Thursday night at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Gustafson said.
"It's just a horrible thing," Sheriff Matt Bostrom said. "I can't imagine the grief of that family. It seems to me, by all indications, just a horrible, horrible accident." He said he did not expect criminal charges.
Newton's 2- and 4-year-old children were also present when the accident happened, Gustafson said.
The owner of the office said nothing like this has ever happened there before.
"As a team, we are grieving the loss of one of our patient's children," said chiropractor Lowell Magelssen, who added that staffers are friends with the child's family. "You can never possibly in a million years script this. It's every parent's nightmare, every grandparent's nightmare. We can't believe it."