12-Year-Old Boy Killed in Rolldown Gate Accident

By Tom Liddy on May 6, 2012 6:59pm 

Mourners placed candles outside the parking lot where Yakim McDaniels was killed.
Mourners placed candles outside the parking lot where Yakim McDaniels was killed.
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DNAinfo/Chelsia Marcus

BROOKLYN — A game of "chicken" turned deadly Sunday when a 12-year-old Brooklyn boy was killed after his head became caught in an electronic rolldown gate, reports and sources said.

Yakim McDaniels was reportedly playing with five friends outside a parking lot at Lott Avenue, near Watkins Street in Brownsville. One of the boys would trigger the metal gate's motion sensor, causing the gate to rise, and three boys would grab on, the Daily News and New York Post reported.

The boy who jumped off last would win.

Shortly before 4:30 p.m., McDaniels and two friends latched onto the gate. As it rose 20 feet to the top, the two friends leapt off. McDaniels stayed on.

"He got scared," neighbor Sean Spencer, 32, told the Post. "He was too high. He couldn't jump."

In seconds, McDaniels' hand was pulled into the top frame, police said, pinning him to the gate.

"He was screaming and screaming," Reinaldo Blandon, 31, told the Daily News. "From his head to the back of his shoulders went under, then he stopped yelling."

McDaniels hung in the air for about 20 minutes, the Daily News and the Post reported, as firefighters cut through the gate to extract him.

He was then rushed to Brookdale University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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