An 8-year-old boy is dead after a large television fell on him at his Ortega Farms home, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

 

The boy, identified by his family as Christian Deron Dozier, becomes the latest child fatality in Duval County with 15 others already under investigation this year, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families 2017 database. The agency confirmed it has launched an investigation into the child’s death.


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Officers were called to the home in the 5900 block of Painted Pony Drive about 5:15 a.m. Friday on the report of an injured child, Sgt. Steve Rudlaff said. The child was found in a bedroom near a four-level shelf with an old-style tube television on the floor in front of it. Another youth was with him at the time.

A 16-year-old said he was with Christian, one of three foster children in the family, when the accident occurred. The teen said he was checking his cellphone as the 8-year-old was “messing” with the tall, narrow shelf, saying it seemed sturdy and had been used by the family for years. Then he heard the television come crashing down, and he and his mother rushed to help.

“My mom was trying to help him and I was calling his name and he was trying to talk, but you couldn’t really hear nothing,” the teen said, adding there was a lot of blood.

The child was taken to UF Health Jacksonville but died.

Video shot by Times-Union news partner First Coast News shows the heavy television set on the floor of the child’s bedroom, next to a tall and narrow shelf in the corner. The television had apparently been on its top shelf when it fell, police said. The video also shows colorful pages from storybooks taped to the wall near the shelf and a chair in the corner.

Christian was one of six children who lived in the home just south of Timuquana Road, his family told First Coast News. The boy attended Timucuan Elementary School three blocks away, according to a Duval County Public Schools spokeswoman. Grief counselors were at the school for staff and students after learning of Christian’s death.

Although a neighbor told First Coast News about making several calls to Children and Families concerning the family, a spokesman said due to confidentiality he could not say whether the agency’s been previously called there.

The department’s child fatality database for 2017 includes a 5-year-old girl accidentally shot Feb. 4, a 1-year-old boy dying two days after receiving a head injury while under his parent’s care and the April 10 drowning of a 3-year-old girl in a relative’s pool.

The state reported and investigated a total of 35 child fatalities in 2016 in Duval County, with children 3 and younger representing 91 percent. Of those, one was due to accidental trauma, four were drownings and five were from natural causes. Several remain under investigation.

Times-Union writer Garrett Pelican contributed to this article.

Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4566