Utah Toddler Killed By Dolphin Statue Near Fisherman's Wharf

A toddler died after a heavy metal sculpture tipped over on top of him near San Francisco's Fisherman’s Wharf on Friday afternoon, according to police.

The 2-year-old boy was visiting San Francisco from Utah with his family.

Police responded about 11:30 a.m. Friday to the 200 block of Jefferson Street after a dolphin statue outside the Majestic Collection Art Gallery toppled onto the boy, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Apparently, the boy had been playing on the statue just outside the store when it fell on him, Shyy said.

Medical crews arrived and the boy was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died later that afternoon, Shyy said.

Shyy said the boy was with his mother, father, an older sister and other family members.

The boy was identified as Kayson Shelton, of Draper, Utah, which is near Salt Lake City, according to the San Francisco medical examiner's office.

Kayson's father, Scott Shelton, is a podiatrist who went to school in the Bay Area. He told NBC Bay Area he and his family were walking down Jefferson Street when his son walked up to the dolphin statue.

"He wanted to go up and touch it,” Shelton said in telephone interview Monday, “and he stepped with a foot on the base of it and the statue came down on top of him.”

The boy's father said his son had a bloody nose right away, but the family thought Kayson was going to be fine. Minutes later, the boy passed out and an ambulance was called. The family praised EMTs' response time, but the child’s internal injuries were too great. Doctors couldn’t save him.

Scott Shelton said the sculpture was an irresistible attraction for any toddler. “I think any 2-year-old would go towards anything like that,” he said.

Police officials said the sculpture’s owner had been warned not to put it out on the sidewalk.

“Last year during the America’s Cup, this specific business was advised about this statue,” Shyy said.

But officers said the gallery ignored the warning and its owners were issued a citation Friday. A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson was unable to specify what sort of penalty the citation carries.

An online fundraising website has been set up for Kayson's family to help with funeral expenses and other costs.

As of Monday afternoon, more than $7,100 had been raised toward a $10,000 goal. Donations can be made online to his parents Toni and Scott Shelton here

The gallery’s owners sent the Shelton family their condolences in a statement Monday that said they are cooperating with the San Francisco Police Department in the investigation of Friday’s “tragic accident.”

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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