What led to boy's 30-foot fall in Saline High School gym?

Boy's mother says fall could have been prevented with better supervision at school; Saline school leaders are investigating

Author: Chauncy Glover, Local 4 Reporter, @CCGONTV
Published On: Oct 24 2012 11:01:58 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 24 2012 11:09:42 PM EDT
Saline High School gym balcony
SALINE, Mich. -

Saline High School gym balcony A 13-year-old Saline High School student fell from a school balcony to the gym floor on Monday, suffering serious injuries to his face.

Mario Brassell was taken to University of Michigan Hospital. He suffered a broken nose. His front teeth were shattered and his gums were pushed back.

But he survived the 30-foot fall and was back home Wednesday night playing with his little brother. Now, his mother wants to know what happened that morning at school.

Brassell is a special needs student with Down syndrome. He was on the school gym's running track while in a fitness class. His mother, Kimberly Brassell, got the call from Mario's teacher.

"I said, 'What happened?' She said he fell. She didn't know what happened because none of the adults were in there at the time. The children were there at the track," Kimberly Brassell said.

Her son was clearly injured. An ambulance rushed him to the hospital.

Marion Brassell after fall at hospital "When they opened the door, I started crying," Kimberly said. "He was covered in blood. No teeth. Mouth bruised black. The first thing he said was, 'Call pastor Shelby.' That's our pastor."

Brassell believes there was a lack of supervision and the accident could have been prevent. School leaders are trying to get to the bottom of how and why Mario fell.

"The school superintendent says there will be an investigation," she said. "They will inform me after the investigation is done. He said they have some witnesses and they have to read over their statements to see exactly what happened."

While his mother and the school work to find out why he was injured on Monday, none of it is phasing young Mario. He is in some pain, but has been a good sport. Playing with his little brother still makes him smile.

Mario Brassell with brother "You trust who you leave your child with," Brassell said. "I thought I had left my child in great hands. I mean, he fell 30 feet. It's by the grace of God that Mario is still alive."

Saline High School map
-- Saline is just south of Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County