Discussion in 'Rebecca Zahau Nalepa' started by *Lash*, Oct 21, 2012.
Scooter Damage -
Scooter Wheel -
Scooter Spot -
Newel Post -
IMO, there is NO way that scooter made those marks on the INSIDE of the railing. And look at the one UNDER the top railing. If Max were going OVER the railing, it was impossible to leave the marks on the OUTSIDE and UNDERNEATH.
As far as I can see, there are no marks on the "inside" of the railing. In fact, I don't see the inside of the railing in these photos.
This looks like a photo of damage only on the newel post. As for damage underneath the cap of the newel post - if that's what that is (kind of hard to see) it could have happened when the scooter was lifted up and caught on the underside of the post.
If the scenario is a child (MS) lifting the scooter up to the top of the newel post, he's going to have some difficulty because of his height. He would have to lift it up pretty high and might bang it on the side in doing so.
If he leaned the scooter against the railing, then climbed up on the newel post and lifted the scooter up from that position, it also might bang up against the post beneath the cap.
My kids had those scooters and they're kind of unwieldly when you lift them up by the handle bars. The heavy lower part tends to swivel/pivot around and bang into things if you're not careful. We kept the kids scooters in the garage and I had to remind them to be careful to avoid banging them into our cars when lifting or carrying them in and out.
So I can definitely see how trying to lift the scooter up near the post or railing could result in it banging around and causing damage.
While I don't have a scooter to compare the pattern of the markings on the newel post with, something about this just doesn't seem to fit. Perhaps the damage was not done all at one time, but from a series of collisions into the post?
Second floor landing and newel post. I wonder if more detailed pics of the bottom portion of the newel post were taken by investigators before the extensive remodeling? Were there dings and scuffs possibly from the scooter at floor level, for example?
In the large pic of the top of the post upthread, you can see stairs descending in the left of the pic. So the orientation of the damaged areas is in the corner of the post as you would look toward it in this pic.
From the investigative photos above, Max's scooter appears to me to be consistent with a Razor Cruiser "Wood Kick" model. This model has larger wheels and a larger, flexible wood platform, as compared to their most common models with in-line skate wheels and narrow metal platforms.
The side view posted by *Lash* above appears to show the edge of the wood platform.
That's an interesting choice for the model. It's not carried in a lot of stores. Someone put some thought into which model to purchase for Max.
This is an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal about scooter injuries-- this particular article was written in 2000.
CPSC alert from 2000
Link to CPSC 2001 letter. Ten of 25 deaths were related to non-motorized scooters:
Interesting. In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Products Safety Commission actually teamed up and recommended that children under age 8 not ride non-powered scooters at all. The injury and death rate was too high.
7/11/11 - Monday
10:00 am Max falls, Rebecca finds him not breathing and with no pulse. He is reported to have said “ocean” before becoming unresponsive. Rebecca was in first floor powder room, XZ was taking a shower.
10:10 am XZ calls 911 but is confused about address. Rebecca began CPR.
10:12 am COPD officer Erhard arrives on scene, gives correct address to dispatch. He reports finding Max at the base of the stairs with his feet facing the wall, head toward the door, with the chandelier near his left shoulder and a Razor type scooter with the rear wheel and rear 1/3 of the foot plate across his right shin. The paramedics continued CPR and administered cardiotonic medications. During a second round of epinephrine Max had a spontaneous return of circulation. Estimated duration of CPR was 25-30 minutes.
JS at gym, he follows ambulance to hospital
10:36 am Max arrives at Sharp Coronado. A head CT demonstrated cerebral edema, “rotational artifact” and a possible C5 abnormality. He had nonreactive pupils upon admission and decorticated posturing. Max is transferred to Rady Children’s (3020 Children’s Way, San Diego CA, [11.8 miles or 17 minutes from 1043 Ocean Dr., Coronado CA]) by the Emergency Transport Pediatric Team.
Rebecca and XZ go clinic for stitches from cleaning up chandelier.
2:00 pm DS learns of fall, goes to hospital
4:00 pm Rebecca calls TG about boarding Ocean.
Timeline - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
I really believe that the "children" took the opportunity to play in the house while Rebecca and sister were in the bathrooms. I have thought this all along. Too bad the parents didn't have strict rules that the children were not permitted this type of playing in the house (outdoor activities made for outdoors). Or at least to wear helmet and other protection. It could have helped save Max from his accident.
For this particular accident possibly a helmet and a Hans Device could have helped to prevent the injuries that Max sustained, but the Hans Device would be so impractical and would restrict sideways and rear viewing to such an extent that it would be a danger in and of itself.
I have to agree with the comments that for all practical purposes not allowing the scooter on the 2nd floor would have gone a long way towards preventing this tragic accident.
A helmet, wrist and knee guards should help to prevent severe damage for most normal spills.
The last picture of the scooter wheel with the paint transfer supports KZ's theory that Max may have been attempting a trick on the newel post, since the paint transfer appears to match the section of paint missing from the left corner of the post almost exactly.
I dont know if Max was a daredevil or notthat depends on how you personally define that term. He was a beautiful child, full of life, and gone far too soon in a tragic, but preventable accident.
His mother, Dina, has described him in several interviews as very active, very athletically gifted and talented, and able to play soccer competitively against children 2 years older than he was. He has been described as constantly in motion. He was encouraged by adult coaches and his parents to play up on his soccer teamplay against older children, according to Dina, and easily mastered that challenge, according to Dina. That sounds to me like a child who was able to engage in very energetic, athletic play, and not just on the soccer field.
Max was a bright, athletic, energetic, extroverted child. Kids like that are very physically inquisitive, and curious. They like to show off their physical achievements. These kids can be very difficult to parent, imo.
I believe Maxs death was a very tragic accident, but also very preventable. The scooter (allowed inside and upstairs) was an accident waiting to happen. A bright, energetic, athletically gifted 6 yo, was allowed to use this dangerous toy inside, upstairs, and near stairs, with a tragic outcome. That is the really sad tragedy in Maxs death, imo.
In a lot of ways, I feel like the truth of Maxs death has been glossed overmanipulated into something it never was, for some other purpose. And that makes me sad for his memory.
His safety is the (proposed) central purpose for Dinas nonprofit. Maxs safety issues (imo) had very little to do with his blended family and background checks of his fathers longterm girlfriend, and far more to do with over indulgence, permissiveness, and lax supervision by his parents.
What if Max was not the one responsible for those marks on the newel, nor the scooter ending up in the foyer?
I think the massive elephant in the room is Rebecca's claim that Max (despite his head injuries, and horrendously severe, and fatal, asphyxiating injuries) whispered 'Ocean' (and not 'Mommy'...like most kids would..) -- and the way Ocean just happened to be sitting on the landing when people arrived... because, you know, excitable young dogs are so prone to sitting still in handily incriminating positions, when all about them is chaos..?? :waitasec:
If all this 'Ocean' business was a deflection (and I think it was!) -- then why - what was it meant to deflect from? If Max's death was so plainly a scooter accident (which I doubt) then why make a case for the dog being to blame?
A sense of guilt for neglecting to keep an eye on Max? Or something else?
Since CPR was not actually administered?
You are so right KZ!
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