8-year-old boy dies after basketball goal falls on him, family donates his organs

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Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 4:31 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - The Corbin community is mourning the loss of a second-grader after he died from injuries he sustained from a basketball goal.

On Monday evening, 8-year-old Eli Hill was playing basketball when the backboard of his basketball goal fell off of the post and landed on him. The incident caused blunt force trauma to the chest and Hill later died at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.

Ashley Hill, Eli’s mother, told our media partners at the Lexington Herald-Leader that she was inside their home cooking dinner and Eli was in the driveway playing basketball when the incident occurred.

The family later said that they had donated Eli’s organs.

“Eli had a heart of gold and somebody else has that heart now. We know it was somebody else’s answered prayer this morning to get that call‚” Ashley Hill said Monday in an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Ashley Hill, a former teacher and chief academic officer with the Corbin Independent School District, recently went to work at the Kentucky Department of Education.

“I always knew that Eli was going to do something special with his life, but I didn’t know this was it,” Ashley Hill said. “He was brilliant and I’m not just saying that because he’s mine. He talked early. He walked early. He was so intuitive. He felt deeply for people. He loved people and he loved God.”

Students, faculty and staff at Corbin Primary School are also reeling from the loss of the second-grader.

“[Eli] was a leader for his age,” Corbin Primary School Principal Travis Wilder told the Herald-Leader. “He was just well-liked. He was a natural athlete. He was a shining star at our school. The students are devastated at his passing.”

Eli’s father, Adam Hill, added that he was so loved and will be dearly missed by his older sister and younger brother.