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Utah Toddler Killed After Climbing Dolphin Statue During Family Vacation To San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Police Department is investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy from Utah, after a statue fell on him outside a store on Fisherman’s Wharf Friday afternoon. City officials said they have warned the business about safety issues before.

When Fisherman’s Wharf gets busy, the sidewalks fill up pretty fast. So, police require businesses to keep their merchandise behind a blue line in front of their stores. But on Friday, the Majestic Gallery crossed that line, and it led to tragedy.

“The police and fire department responded to a call for a young child, one or two years old, had a statue fall on him,” Officer Gordon Shyy of the San Francisco Police Department told KPIX 5.

Kayson Shelton was visiting with his family from Utah when he tried climbing one of the store’s bronze dolphin statues that police said was out on the sidewalk. The heavy sculpture fell onto Kayson.

At first he seemed okay, but he had internal injuries and later died at the hospital. Police cited Majestic Gallery, saying they have been warned in the past.

“The San Francisco Police Department officers that were working the America’s Cup had asked this business to move their dolphins back across on the other side of the blue line because of the high volume of pedestrian traffic,” Shyy said.

Wharf vendors said they understand the rules but question whether Kayson’s parents had left the boy and his siblings unattended.

“They were trying to climb onto a statue and it fell. So if it was inside the store or outside, at that point it doesn’t matter, I mean, the child was unwatched and unfortunately he lost his life,” said Fisherman’s Wharf vendor John Terry.

But the businesses rely on walk-up traffic, and one vendor showed how empty her store has become since they moved everything off the sidewalks.

“Already no business, looks like winter time, it’s not summertime now. It’s no good because the people don’t want to go inside the stores,” said a vendor, who did not want to give her name.

Police said the blue line is there for a reason and, after this tragedy, they will be less likely to excuse businesses that try to step over it.

Majestic Collection sent a short statement to KPIX 5 Monday:

This is an unfortunate and tragic incident. Majestic Collection is and has been co-operating with all investigative agencies. Our hearts and prayers are with the family.

An online fundraising website has been set up for Kayson’s family to help with funeral expenses and other costs.

As of Monday afternoon, more than $7,100 had been raised toward a $10,000 goal.

Donations can be made online to his parents Toni and Scott Shelton at http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/kayson-shelton/188172.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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