Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hammond, 9, died tragically last week after a bounce house where she was playing blew into power lines. Lizzy was playing in the inflatable bounce house with two other children when strong winds blew the house away. The Washoe County Sheriff’s office said the bounce house went up into the air about 10 feet.
The Reno Gazette Journal reported that hundreds of people from the community, including local police officers and EMTs, lined the hallways of the hospital where Lizzy was taken following the accident. The community participated in an honor walk as her family donated her organs for transplant. Lizzy’s family shared that dozens of children would benefit from the donation.
Police and EMTs quickly arrived at the scene of the accident and were able to rescue two of the children. They were treated for minor injuries, while Lizzy was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center.
The emergency crews had NV Energy turn off power to the south Reno neighborhood for about two hours, affecting about 3,000 people.
While the incident is still being investigated, it appears the bounce house was properly secured but was lifted by an unexpectedly strong gust of wind.
Sheriff Darin Balaam shared a statement with the Associated Press about how the community has been affected. “We are truly heartbroken for the family,” he said. “I speak on behalf of every deputy, firefighter, trooper, dispatcher, and medic who responded to this incident as well as all area first responders when I say to the family, ‘our prayers are with you, our thoughts are with you and we are here to help in any way that we can.’”
Lizzy’s family also shared a statement, thanking the first responders for their help. “Lizzy loves all first responders,” the family said. “She was extremely patriotic and wholeheartedly supported the U.S. military, as well as her local police, sheriff and fire departments. She was a warm, kind, and selfless girl who loved everything and everyone.”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.