Autopsy shows kindergartner died while playing on school monkey bars

Parents, grandparents and the Covington community are in shock over the tragic loss of the Newton County Theme School kindergartner.

Police say Andrea Tyrah Debruhl was playing on the monkey bars at school around 1 p.m. Monday when she slipped and asphyxiated herself. It happened during school hours with other children playing nearby. Police say teachers found her hanging from the bars, unconscious.

The district said 10 teachers and paraprofessionals were on the playground supervising at the time. They say they are devastated by the tragedy and counselors will be in place at the school for as long as needed to provide support to anyone emotionally affected by the little girl’s death.

Jennifer New, a parent, said that the incident will make her more aware.

“You think playgrounds are safe for kids. You wouldn’t think monkey bars would be a cause,” she said.

The coroner said the death has been ruled accidental, but the investigation is not over. He said they are now trying to determine how the child got in the position she was in on the monkey bars.

Police say they don’t anticipate any criminal charges in this case, but it will be up to the district attorney.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.