Note: We want to warn you, a photograph of his injury is graphic.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Since 1962, downtown skyways have kept pedestrians warm and dry. In winter weather, however, the steel and glass present a real danger.
“You probably see the stitches and staples,” explains 10-year-old Ayden Schuler.
The Eagan fifth grader feels lucky to be alive after a scare late Sunday afternoon. His nasty head wound is the result of falling ice from an overhead downtown Minneapolis skyway.
“I just remember a big crash coming down on me, calling for my dad to see if I’m bleeding,” Ayden said.
The young family had just left a birthday dinner and was outside Fogo De Chao restaurant on Hennepin Avenue. They were loading their two youngest boys into the back seat of their vehicle.
“It’s not something you expect to have happen, not from above,” said Lucas, Ayden’s father.
Icicles clinging to the skyway suddenly and unexpectedly let loose, striking Ayden squarely on top of his head.
“There was a big crash behind me and it turns out the ice had come off the catwalk there, the skyway, and hammered him right on top of his head,” Lucas Schuler added.
Ayden was rushed by paramedics to Hennepin Healthcare where he was treated for serious head trauma.
“I felt the blood dripping down the left side of my face,” Ayden recalls.
Building maintenance from the adjoining City Center building put up caution tape to warn other pedestrians of the danger. But hours later, vehicles were still parked in the same location.
“Let’s keep the city cleaned up and if we can’t get the ice off let’s put up signs to notify people that are walking by,” said Rebecca Rosario, Ayden’s stepmother.
It’s a simple request with potentially life-saving consequences – a warning to all pedestrians to not only watch for ice beneath their feet but also high above.
“It could have been a lot worse. I guess we just need to be extra cautious this season, there’s an angle none of us thought about,” Lucas Schuler said.