DRAPER, Utah -- Outside the Shelton family home in Draper are small reminders of what is missing.
“Kayson was just full of life. I mean, much like any young life. He was just always running, always about, just a sweet spirit,” said Sam Delahunty, Kayson’s uncle.
Delahunty learned on Friday that his 2-year-old nephew, Kayson Shelton, was killed after a freak accident while on a family vacation in San Francisco.
“There’s no way of knowing when tragedy is going to strike,” said Delahunty. “Tragedy has a way of helping us realize what’s most important in life.”
According to authorities, Kayson was playing on a dolphin statue located outside the Majestic Collection Art Gallery in the city.
“Apparently, a young child had a statue topple over on him and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he later died from his injuries,” said Officer Gordon Shyy of the San Francisco Police Department.
The impact from the six-foot structure caused internal head injuries, which killed Kayson hours later.
“Just knowing what she’s going through. You just can’t put yourself in her shoes. You try, but you just can’t imagine what that would really be like,” said neighbor, Jordan Wilkins.
But as the family dealt with their loss in California, back in Utah, their neighbors went to work. They spent hours cleaning up the family’s yard and home, and on the night of their return, they lined the streets.
“We put lights in little bags and from the top of the community all the way to their home, so that when they drove home it was peaceful and comforting,” said Kathy Miner, who moved to the neighborhood only six months ago.
It was an emotional homecoming for a family of six returning with only five, but they were met with the strength of the community around them.
“Arriving home with a piece of your family missing had to have been an incredibly hard thing for them to process,” Wilkins said. “So, that was why it was so important for us to be there as a symbol of love and support.”
According to San Francisco Police, the gallery that owns the statue received a citation. A city ordinance prohibits them from placing personal property past a certain point along public sidewalks, which authorities believe they violated with the placement of the statues.
Friends of the family have created a fund to support them during this time.
If you would like to help, more information can be found at the following sites: