Father of girl injured in press box incident speaks out

He's hoping measures are taken to prevent something like this from happening again.
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 11:10 PM EDT
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WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - We’re hearing for the first time from the father of one of the student athletes who was injured Saturday when the floor of a press box gave out.

The incident happened at the Wayne High School softball field.

“It was complete chaos, Fenton Perkins, the father of Addison Perkins, said.

Fenton was standing along the fence at the field Saturday, getting ready to watch his daughter play in the middle school county championship.

The press box was in his line of sight.

“I just heard a crack,” Fenton said. “The floor fell out of it. You saw legs and heard screams. No one would’ve ever thought that would happen.”

The father says he didn’t know at first that his daughter was inside. He realized she was one of the people injured as he got closer to the scene.

“One of my friends was carrying her out of the rubble,” he said. “It went from scary to really scary. Once I saw she was comprehensive, we went back and started trying to get everybody else out.”

Addison was one of nine people injured.

“It was just absolutely terrifying,” Fenton said.

Addison says she blacked out a couple times. She’d suffered a concussion and was flown to a hospital.

“She’s really glad all her teammates are in good shape and everyone is alive to tell the story,” Fenton said.

The father says his daughter, an eighth-grader at Wayne Middle School, has been home recovering. She also plays senior league and has been told she’ll have to sit out two to three weeks.

“We had practice last night,” Fenton said. “She had to sit and watch, and she hated it.”

He’s hoping measures are taken at other facilities to prevent something like this from happening again.

“I feel like it was a total freak accident,” he said. “I do feel like they should maybe do more inspections to make sure they’ve got a safe playing field.”

Fenton says his daughter tried to go to school Monday but began feeling dizzy and went home. She hasn’t been back to school since.

He says his daughter and others in the press box at the time were trying to get a plaque signed for their coach.

Everyone who was injured has been released from the hospital.