Locker Room Death

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 10:33am

High school freshman killed when wall collapses.

A Williamston, Michigan high school freshman is dead after a cinder-block wall collapsed on him in a locker room at the school.

The accident happened about 4:25 Wednesday afternoon, following a basketball workout in what another student described as "an old locker room".

Many other students, including Gabe Corbett's good friends, were close by when he hopped on the block wall and it came tumbling down on him.

"The ambulance was called right away and it arrived almost immediately," said Ernie Gaffney, a longtime member of Williamston's school board. "This is the first thing like this I can recall in over 30 years on the school board."

As word spread that Corbett's injuries were very serious, some of his closest friends gathered at the high school.

Inside, police were interviewing students trying to piece together what exactly happened.

"I want to emphasize this is an accident," said Williamston Police Chief Bob Young. "The preliminary investigation shows this was a tragic accident and we're working hand-in-glove with Williamston schools."

As for the wall in question, students and staff said they never looked at the wall as a danger or an accident waiting to happen.

"It's just there," said junior Jordan Johnson. "Nobody's ever thought of it as an issue."

Gaffney said it was a very sad situation but school will not be canceled.

"There will be school tomorrow and there will be extra counselors on hand," said Gaffney. "We will do all we can to see that things proceed as normal as possible."

"It's a small community. We have a great support group here," said Young. "We are resilient and we will get through this."

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