Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A Utah boy in Pennsylvania with his baseball team to compete in the Little League World Series was injured Sunday, family members said.
Easton Oliverson, 12, who plays outfield and pitches for the Snow Canyon Little League all-star baseball team in Santa Clara, was reportedly hurt overnight while in Williamsport where the Little League World Series begins on Wednesday.
"While living the dream and having the opportunity of a lifetime in Williamsport, last night my little nephew Easton fell off the bunkbed. He has been life flighted to a children's hospital in Danville, PA," a family member wrote on social media.
"He has made it (through) a successful surgery and his brain is reacting well. Please keep my little buddy Easton and our family in your prayers. We love you!" the relative said.
Easton's dad Jace Oliverson who is also a coach on the Little League team, said that his son fell 6 feet onto a hard floor, fracturing his skull and cheekbone. Even with Easton's injuries being critical, Oliverson said that he is a believer in the power of prayer and its ability to help heal his son, whose nickname is "Tank."
"I've always been a firm believer of prayer and the power that comes with it, and I feel like if people continue to rally around us that he will make a full recovery," Jace Oliverson told KSL-TV. "Right now it's slow. They keep telling me it's a cross-country race."
Oliverson said that he appreciates all the love and support for his son while also saying that he wants the attention to be on the team and its amazing accomplishment.
The coaching staff released a statement Monday afternoon, saying that the team will continue to compete to finish what they started with a newfound purpose.
"We as a team are of course devastated by the events of last night's accident involving our player Easton Oliverson, who is also the son of Jace Oliverson, a member of our coaching staff," the statement read. "We have been told from his family that his current condition is critical but we are optimistic with some of the early signs he has recently shown. We join the family in asking for prayers on his behalf.
"As a team preparing for the Little League World Series, Coach O (Oliverson) expressed his desire for Team Utah to finish what we started and compete and enjoy this amazing experience. While our hearts are heavy, we are committed as a team to have an opportunity to take part in something that is only dreamt about by others. We teach our players to do everything with a purpose — that hasn't changed. It has perhaps been added to with something far greater than ever. We believe in team Utah! We believe in team Easton!"
Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted words of support to Easton and his family.
"Terrible news. Our prayers are with this player, family and team today," Cox said.
Many Utah parents are planning to go to Pennsylvania to watch the team compete, and a GoFundMe* account has been set up to help parents get there. A Venmo account @MiraclesForTank has also been set up to help Easton's family with medical expenses.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the accounts will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
Contributing: Arianne Brown, Dan Rascon