OREM — He was playing alone in his back yard, 20 feet from his tree house, a few steps from his plastic playhouse and a cry away from his mother, who was just inside when the 5-year-old Orem boy found himself pinned under a metal slide that had tipped over and landed on his neck Friday afternoon.

"The boy was not conscious, not breathing but not yet deceased when (paramedics) arrived," said Doug Edwards, Orem police spokesman.

The child was rushed to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where doctors later pronounced him dead.

A landscaper who was working on the front yard at the time first discovered the boy under the edge of the 10-foot metal slide when he walked into the back yard, Edwards said.

The four-legged slide, which had once been firmly rooted in the ground, had been dug up so the yard's landscaping could be finished. It had been set aside in an upright and top-heavy position.

A white nylon rope dangled off one side of the slide where it was tied. It was this rope, police believe, that the boy was swinging from, when he tipped the 100-plus-pound slide over.

"Then he fell down on his back," Edwards said. "You would hope and expect your children were safe in their own back yard," said Edwards. "It just tears your heart out."


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