Mother blames self, play facility for death of son

Mother blames self, play facility for death of son »Play Video

LONGVIEW, Wash. - The mother of a 3-year-old killed at an inflatable indoor playground in Castle Rock over the weekend said Sunday she blames the operators for poorly supervising the attraction.

Becky Pierce's son, Jacob, died Saturday at Hoppin' Houses when two men playing a game of "King of the Hill" on inflatable play equipment fell off and landed on the boy, who was standing near them.

She heard someone yell out, "Oh my God, a kid fell out" and walked over to see it was her son.

"(The men) shouldn't have been in there. They absolutely should not have been in there," said Pierce, pictured below. "You need more supervision in there. Somebody has to walk around to enforce the rules."

Though Jacob was not pronounced dead until after he was taken to St. John Medical Center in Longview, the coroner told Pierce on Sunday that her son died at the scene - and did not suffer - when an elbow or knee crushed his skull.

He was at the 6,000-square-foot indoor playground to celebrate his cousin's second birthday.

Incredibly, she said, the establishment stayed open for another birthday party after Jacob died.

When KATU went to Hoppin' Houses on Sunday, it was closed until further notice. All the equipment was deflated inside.

Pierce described her son as extremely bright and always happy.

"Our favorite song was 'You Are My Sunshine,' " she said . "I've been singing that since he
was 3-months-old."

Pierce said she plans to donate most of her son's toys and clothing to the flood victims in Vernonia.

While she blames the owners, Pierce said she will blame herself for life.

"I'm in charge of that child," she said. "I was supposed to watch that child."

The Longview Church of Christ is accepting donations to help the family with burial expenses. You can send money to the church, which is located at 2219 50th Ave., Longview, WA 98632. You can make checks out to "Jake's Fund."

The church is sending the Pierce family money daily from the funds raised.