Boy, 4, Killed by Falling Tree While Playing in Yard: His 'Death Is a Tragedy But His Life Is a Blessing'

·3 min read
Maximillion Wood
Maximillion Wood

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Maximillion Wood, a 4-year-old boy from Iowa, died on Friday after a tree fell on him in Littleton, Colorado — and now he's being remembered for his "larger-than-life heart."

Maximillion's family was visiting loved ones in Colorado when the accident happened, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said in a press release provided to PEOPLE.

"The kids were at a neighbor's home, along with other neighborhood children, to play on a slack line/zip line that had been set up in the back yard between two trees," officials said. "As the children were playing on the line, one of the trees gave way and fell on top of the 4-year old boy."

Deputies said they attempted to save the child's life as they responded to the accident.

"When our deputies arrived, they immediately began CPR on the child, who was then quickly transported to a local hospital," JCSO said in the release. "Tragically, the boy was pronounced dead at the hospital."

"Although the JCSO is still investigating this death, we have no reason to believe this was anything more than a very tragic accident," officials added. "It was incredibly traumatic for all of the children who witnessed the incident, as well as adults and first responders. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office provided victim advocates to the family, the owners of the home where the incident occurred, and to all other children who were in the yard."

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Maximillion's family shared a statement with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, which posted the comments to the office's Facebook page.

"This little boy had a larger than life heart, and an old soul," the family wrote. "Everyone he met was his friend and this could be neighbors and schoolmates, but it was equally UPS drivers, Amazon drivers, hotel guests in elevators, docents at museums, spectators on the bleachers, and countless other places he went. Everyone was his friend."

"Maximillion's death is a tragedy but his life is a blessing," the family continued. "Amidst the sadness and grief, it is only support, friendship and love that has been presented to every member of our family. This is a true testament to how many lives Maximillion touched in his 4 short years, and to his ageless, genuine, loving soul."

Jennifer Sedlock, a member of the Indianola community in Iowa, organized a GoFundMe called the "Maximillion Wood Memorial Fund" to help cover Maximillion's funeral expenses as well as travel costs for his family to come to Iowa to mourn his loss together. The fundraiser has raised over $21,000.

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"Maximillion would have started kindergarten this year," Sedlock wrote in the fundraiser's description. "He loved to share with others the fun adventures he had been on, the artwork he created, and anything else he felt was exciting. He had a love for animals and soccer."

"His greatest joy, though, was his family," Sedlock continued. "He looked up to his siblings and parents. Maximillion had a sweet smile and laugh that was so infectious."

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According to Maximillion's obituary, he was one of seven children. His 14-year-old sister was also injured in the accident but is expected to be okay.