A little girl in Beloit is killed just days before her ninth birthday in a bizarre accident inside the Liberty Laundromat.
8-year-old Ana Mendoza and her 11-year-old cousin were injured when a heavy table fell on them. Mendoza was later pronounced dead at a Beloit hospital.
The family often goes to Liberty Laundromat to wash clothes, but Wednesday night around 7 p.m., they were just passing through to use the restroom.
The two girls' mothers walked in to find Mendoza and her cousin sprawled on the ground. The girls had grabbed onto one of the laundromat's 80-pound tables. The table fell on them, crushing the little girls heads and necks.
Mendoza was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead. Her cousin was treated for cuts to her head, but has been released. Mendoza's aunt says no one is at fault and the laundromat's employees are also upset.
"There was nothing I could do, I helped, I tried," says Adelfa Mercado. "We tried, I put water on her head and she started to like wake, but she wouldn't wake up."
Ron Castro heads up maintenance at Liberty Laundromat and is on duty from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every night. He says he makes safety a top priority there and is devastated by the loss.
"I had a rough night and I sat in here and just looked at the table," says Castro. "I couldn't understand it. Nobody's ever been hurt or killed in this laundromat."
No criminal charges will be filed, police say it is simply an unfortunate accident. The laundromat already has security cameras and an alarms system. Castro says they plan to chain all the chairs together and bolt them to the floor. They are also bolting the tables to the walls so those are no longer a danger.
Signs already line the walls reminding kids to walk, not run and refrain from climbing. Castro says he plans to more strictly enforce those rules.
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