2-year-old dies after wind knocks down metal soccer goal

(Courtesy: Estefania Ponce)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 2-year-old girl died Sunday after she was hit by a metal soccer goal that was knocked down by high winds.

According to Metro police, it happened at one of the outdoor fields at the International Indoor Soccer Complex on Antioch Pike.

The child, identified as Melanie Espinoza Rodriguez, was taken to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

(Courtesy: Estefania Ponce)

“It was a casual Sunday like every other Sunday. We’d always go to a soccer game. After the soccer game was finished, we all went into the field to play and then one second she was there and the next she wasn’t. When we realized she was just lying down, I had to run and go get her, and so that’s where everything started. That’s where the nightmare started,” the girl’s aunt, Guadalupe Ponce said.

Ponce said the goal had fallen over minutes before it hit Melanie. No one was hurt that time.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. Within a few hours, the page had already collected more than $5,000 in donations.

According to the Tennessee State Soccer Association, it is the responsibility of the individual club or soccer organization to regulate the anchoring of the goals.

News 2 reached out to the International Indoor Soccer Complex for a statement. It said, in full:

It is with heavy hearts that we send our deepest condolences to the Rodriguez family for the loss of their precious child. Inter Nashville FC and International Soccer Complex was founded with community and families as our top priority. We will be here alongside this family to support them through this very difficult time. Our staff will be reviewing all of our safety guidelines, both on the field and off. We will continue to pray for this family and ask that our community show them the love and support that they will need going forward.