Toddler's 'Favorite Uncle' Accidentally Kills Him in Freak Accident (VIDEO)

A young boy's tragic death in Oklahoma was the freakish of freak accidents. Chris Coates, 36, was lounging in a hammock, whittling some wood with a knife, when all of a sudden, his beloved 4-year-old nephew, Bralyn Shivel, ran up and playfully gave him a shove. Reportedly, Coates fell out of the hammock, and he rolled onto his nephew. The knife he had been holding pierced the little boy's chest. Bralyn was rushed to the hospital but died. I simply can't imagine the horror!

Coates, described as Bralyn's and his siblings' "favorite uncle" and who was a "master woodworker," was visiting his family from Iowa when the accident happened. He screamed out for help as he tried to perform CPR on the toddler. Police investigated, but they say the evidence all points to a freakish and bizarre accident.

Coates has not been arrested.

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This is just the most horrible thing I've ever heard. I can't imagine what Coates must be feeling -- the guilt must be terrible.

You really would never think anything like this could happen. It's odd to think that a toddler could even tip over a grown man, but if he managed to push hard enough, he would have gotten him just enough that if he was in a certain position, gravity took over and he fell.

Other reports, however, say that a string on the hammock snapped, which is what tipped the uncle over, and somehow Bralyn fell on the knife. It's unclear exactly what happened -- but clearly Bralyn and the knife got too close.

This makes you wonder about having sharp objects around kids at all. How many times a day do you hold a knife, scissors, razors, etc., and not even think about your kids because they're across the room? But then without knowing it, one could suddenly be under your feet or suddenly rush and grab you around the ankles and who knows where the sharp object goes.

Ugh, this is too awful. It shows you how quickly life can take a tragic turn. Enjoy every moment of your day with your children.

Do you ever worry about sharp objects around your children? - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Image via Channel9News

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adamat34 adamat34

Poor child

And what a dumb question of course as parents we worry about sharp objects

nonmember avatar kelly

omg what a horrible story. that poor little boy and his family. :( that poor man must be beside himself

Pam.N.42 Pam.N.42

Everyone worries about sharp objects, they are a necessary thing though so we figure out how to use them in a safe way, and keep them in safe places. This is a freak accident, it said he was a woodwoker, he probably did this all the time and it just happned to have been horrible this time.

This poor family and the poor baby, I couldn't even imagine what they are going through right now!


That's so sad god calls us home in all kinds of way we don't know when it's our time to go and in this case he was to young to die in this freakish way.

IHear... IHeartCake

My heart goes out to this family.  Such an accident could happen in any family.  I am so sorry for your loss.

nonmember avatar RICHDAD



Carrissa Wilson Lorenz

I disagree with all of these comments about not having kids around sharp objects.  Just like with guns, it's all about education.  You must teach a child, they will learn, and when they notice a sharp object, they should have better judgement. 

marie... mariesmama

i find it humorous the uncle was from iowa

nonmember avatar jenny

I am a living example of an accident like this. When I was 3, my dad stuck a knife in his back pocket, which he did construction work so he did it out of habit, but lil ole me tried to jump on his back and landed on the knife.. To this day(I'm 30 now) my dad still tears up at the thought of almost killing me due to something he had done hundreds of times. My heart goes out to this family.

Tina Goff

This was just a very sad accident.  It's actually very easy to cause a hammock to tip over.  It doesn't take much effort at all, so really it's no surprise that a 4 year old was able to tip him over.  Every parent worries about all kinds of accidents every day, so saying that parents should worry more about sharp things is really a moot point.  Sharp things exist in the world, accidents happen and there is no amount of worry that would help.  People can't worry about everything and expect the world to change around them, they have to teach their kids how to live in a world where danger exists.  

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