Family of Boy Crushed by Tombstone Speaks Out

Family of Boy Crushed by Tombstone Speaks Out

by Kim Powell

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Levi Driver was just weeks away from his preschool graduation. Just like any other four-year-old boy, he loved going to the park, riding his bike and watching Spongebob.

"Your typical four-year-old, but on top of it, he was just wise beyond his years. He was just an absolute pleasure to be around," said Sara Knudsen, the boy's cousin.

Most of all, Levi loved being with his grandfather. The family says the two spent almost everyday together and never left each other's side.

"Levi wasn't just part of my life, he was my life," said Fred McFadden, his grandfather.

Sadly, on Friday, his grandpa was the last one to see him alive when an unthinkable freak accident happened.

The family said Levi liked the way the headstone looked so he asked his grandpa to take his picture. When his grandpa turned around for just a moment to visit his wife's grave site just 15 feet away, the tombstone fell and crushed him.

"He picked him up, pulled the tombstone off of him and took him to the hospital," said Mary Dennis, Levi's aunt. "But they said he was killed instantly."

"I lifted a 500 pound tombstone off my grandson's head that smashed it flat and I gathered him up in my car and drove 120 miles an hour to (Odessa Regional Medical Center) thinking that there was some chance by God he was alive even though I knew he wasn't," said McFadden.

The headstone that fell on Levi was nearly 100 years old and in the oldest part of the cemetery. The Risk Management Coordinator for Ector County told NewsWest 9 last week that the upkeep of headstones are typically the family's responsibility.

On Mother's Day, family friends took to the streets with posters to raise money for funeral expenses but also wanted to bring awareness to the dangers of the tall, old tombstones, noting that a lot of them are crooked and have been bumped by lawn mowers.

"It tore a whole in my heart the size of the hospital right there," said McFadden. "I'll never, ever recover from it. Ever."

If you would like to help the family with funeral expenses, you can click on this link: