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Boy, 4, dies after tombstone falls on him at Utah cemetery

This undated phoprovided by family viPark City Medical Center shows CarsDean Cheney 4 who died July 5 2012 after large

This undated photo provided by the family via Park City Medical Center shows Carson Dean Cheney, 4, who died July 5, 2012 after a large tombstone fell and hit the boy while he and his family were visiting a historic cemetery in the Utah ski resort town of Park City. (AP Photo/Park City Medical Center)

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Updated: July 6, 2012 6:32PM

A 4-year-old boy is dead after a large tombstone toppled onto him while he and his family were visiting a historic cemetery in a Utah ski resort town.

Carson Dean Cheney was at the Glenwood Cemetery in Park City with his family Thursday evening when the 6-foot-tall headstone, which weighed hundreds of pounds, detached from its base and fell onto him, Park City police Capt. Phil Kirk said Friday.

Authorities were still investigating how it happened.

The boy’s grandmother Geri Gibbs tells The Associated Press that he and his family were visiting from Lehi, about an hour away. She says they were at the old cemetery while his father took photos of friends and relatives.

Gibbs says the boy was holding onto the heavy headstone when some metal connecting it to the pedestal broke.

“This tragic accident has taken the life of our energetic, sweet, beloved little boy,” Gibbs said in a statement.

Kirk said family members were able to free the boy from under the fallen tombstone before emergency crews arrived, and paramedics tried to save him at the scene. The child had injuries to his head, chest and abdomen and was taken to the nearby Park City Medical Center, where he died.

“We’re dealing now with not only the family, but also the emergency responders who are all saddened by what happened,” Kirk said.

Bruce Erickson, president of the Glenwood Cemetery Association, said the private, five-acre cemetery around the corner from Park City Mountain Resort was founded by a society of silver miners in 1885. It is open to the public and still accepts burials of people connected to the mining society.

Erickson said no funerals were held at the cemetery Thursday.

New burials happen maybe just once a year, he said, and families are responsible for maintaining the headstones, many of which are at least 100 years old. Erickson said the cemetery likely will be closed through the weekend.

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