Tree stake nearly takes Frisco boy's life



Posted on May 22, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 12:51 PM


Steve Stoler reports.

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FRISCO - It's a common practice in most North Texas neighborhoods: homeowners and landscapers secure newly-planted trees with wires and stakes.

But for one Frisco family, the practically invisible lines, nearly took their child's life.

On Friday, Nick Kuholtz, 11, returned to the field where the accident happened one week ago.

Nick and his buddies were playing baseball with a tennis ball, as his parents watched from the Trails of West Frisco community swimming pool.

"I was running from first to second and then someone threw the ball at me and then I looked back at the base and I was right in front of the wire and then it hit me in the neck," he said.

Bryan and Kristin Kucholtz called 911, as they ran to help their son.

"You could've taken my cell phone and you could've inserted my cell phone into the cut in his neck. It was pretty brutal," said Bryan Kucholtz.

"We looked down and we just shared a look - this is it, we're going to be burying our son. There's no way he can survive a gash with a throat open that deep," said Kristin Kucholtz.

Nick is extremely fortunate. The wire narrowly missed his larynx and his carotid artery, which his surgeons say, likely would have killed him, if they had been severed.

"It's invisible to a child running," said Kristin Kucholtz.

Newly-planted trees are in every community. The homeowners' association has taken steps to improve the safety around the trees. They moved the stakes closer together and they've placed swimming pool noodles around the wires.

In the Frisco neighborhood, spring storms blew down the new trees. The HOA's hired landscaper suggested securing the trees with wires and stakes but they didn't flag them. Few people do but the HOA board will meet next week to talk about what else they can do.

"I just truly believe if we care enough to protect our trunks, than we need to care enough to protect our kids," said Kristin Kucholtz.