Toddler Tragically Dies During Pumpkin Patch Accident

Caleb Acuna

Tragedy has struck a family from Lincoln, Nebraska, on what was supposed to be a fun day out at their local pumpkin patch. Edward and Berna Acuna had brought their two young children, Caleb and Aura, to JK's Pumpkin Patch for some fall fun. But when a gust of wind hurled the pumpkin-shaped bounce pad that Caleb and Aura were playing on, it left Caleb dead and Aura injured -- just seconds after they parents had stepped off before them.

  • Edward and Berna Acuna had brought their kids to the pumpkin patch on the evening of October 3.

    According to the Star Tribune, Caleb, 2, and Aura, 5, were playing on the pumpkin-shaped bounce pillow -- similar to a bounce house, but without any walls -- about 6 p.m. Their parents had just gotten off the pad when a gust of wind going about 59 mph tore the pad from its moorings. 

    The pad flew through the air to about 30 feet above ground and fell with Caleb trapped inside the deflated pad as it folded over him. Aura was thrown from the pad about 30 feet and suffered a broken arm. 

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  • Caleb landed 100 feet away from where the pad was originally mounted, and when he was finally found in the wreckage, it was clear he'd sustained fatal injuries.

    The Lancaster County sheriff's office confirmed that Caleb had suffered from severe head trauma from the fall, and he was quickly rushed to a hospital. On October 4, Caleb was taken off of life support and died.

    "It's certainly a tragic situation," Lancaster County Sheriff's Capt. Tom Brookhouser told the Star Tribune. "The sheriff's office has never worked an incident like this in the 28 years I've been here."

    He also told reporters that an investigation is still underway and that an autopsy is planned.

  • JK's Pumpkin Patch has released a statement sending love and support to the Acuna family.

    And in a statement given to the Lincoln Journal Star, Sandra Rojo, who worked with the Acuna children at the Lincoln Literacy's Family Activities for Immigrants and Refugees program at Culler Middle School, told reporters that "Caleb [...] was adored by all in the FLAIR program."

    "Those kids were perfect, just perfect," she added. "I can't believe this has happened."

    A GoFundMe was created to raise funds for the family to cover the expenses of Caleb's funeral.