BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A group of Birmingham citizens are collecting donations for the family of a boy killed when an airport sign fell on top of him.
A flight status board weighing at least 300 pounds fell on top of a Kansas family while they were inside the new terminal of the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport. The family was returning home to Overland Park, Kansas after a spring break trip to Destin, Florida.
Luke Bresette, 10, died of his injuries at Children's Hospital on Friday, March 23. His mom is currently in serious condition at UAB hospital, but is said to be improving. Another injured son was treated and released and anotherson is in fair condition at Children's of Alabama hospital.
The father of the boy released a statement on his Facebook page on Saturday:
"Words cannot describe the pain we feel. Thank you all for the love and support. Keep praying and praying and praying. For anyone attending STM mass this morning, please wear your favorite sports team shirt. Luke loved sports! I miss and love Luke so very much. I love you Luke!!!"
Luke Bresette's father is an alumnus of the Kansas chapter of the FBI Birmingham Citizens Academy. When the Birmingham chapter learned of his membership, they wanted to reach out and help.
The city of Birmingham said Saturday the FBI - Birmingham Citizens Academy Alumni Association is opening a donation fund for the Bresette family at all area branches of Cadence Bank.
Donations can be accepted at any Cadence Bank location starting Monday. Birmingham's Mayor William Bell issued this statement about the donation fund:
"I am grateful for these citizens coming together to help this family. This terrible tragedy has deeply saddened us all and I am proud that we have good men and women in this community who will stand in the gap as we wait on answers from the Airport Authority."
The construction company that hung the sign, Brasfield and Gorrie, also released a statement Saturday offering sympathy to the Bresette family.
"Brasfield & Gorrie is diligently working with authorities at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport to assess the situation that occurred Friday, March 22, in which several people were injured, one fatally, after a flight information sign fell in the newly renovated terminal.
We are deeply sorrowful that a life was lost, and we are prayerful that the injured individuals will recover. This is a terrible tragedy that none of us fully understand, and we hope that the family who has lost their loved one will find strength through prayer and the support of all of us.
Our entire corporate family extends its deepest sympathies to the family affected and will support them in any way we can.
We are keeping the family in our prayers."
The Birmingham Airport Authority held their regular board meeting on Saturday morning. No details of the meeting were released, but Gaynell Hendricks, Chairwoman of the Birmingham Airport Authority released this statement Saturday:
"I am Gaynell Hendricks, Chairwoman of the Birmingham Airport Authority. I am joined here by Mr. Al Denson, President and CEO. On behalf of the entire Birmingham Airport Authority, first of all I want to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of the child who passed following an accident Friday at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport. Our prayers are for the child and his family, especially those who are continuing to recover from this unfortunate event.
President and CEO Al Denson and the staff are continuing to work with officials to investigate. This includes discussions with contractors and subcontractors responsible for the modernization of the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport.
Please be assured that we are making every effort to ensure that no other visitors to this facility faces a similar tragedy in the future."