A Virginia toddler died Thursday after he fell from a grandstand window overlooking the Laurel Park racetrack onto pavement 60 feet below.
The mother of Adam Michael Teitelbaum told police that her 16-month-old son jumped out of her arms and tumbled through the window of the grandstand press box. Anne Arundel County police are still investigating but said they believe the fall was an accident.
The fall occurred just moments before the start of the day's fifth race, and it delayed subsequent races. One track insider said that "even the most grizzled, hard-core" regulars were noticeably shaken.
The Teitelbaums, who live in Fairfax Station, are not track regulars. Adam and his mother, Teresa Teitelbaum, were at Laurel Park on Thursday as guests of the boy's uncle, a part-time teller at the track, according to a friend who answered the phone at the family home yesterday.
The toddler apparently landed on pavement between the enclosed grandstand and outdoor benches that line the track, according to Battalion Chief John Scholz, spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
The boy was treated by the racetrack physician before paramedics arrived, and he later was taken by helicopter to the pediatric intensive care unit of Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, where he died, officials said.
Police said they were still unsure how the boy fell. Detectives interviewed the mother for a second time yesterday but did not release any more information.
A friend at the family home, who declined to give her name, said 16-month-old Adam was already walking and talking. "He was always smiling," she said. "His favorite word was 'Wow!'
"Evidently God had plans for him, because his stay with us was very short."