The 10-year-old boy who was critically injured just after Christmas when a tree fell on him while ziplining in an Easton backyard has died.
Matthew Cox of Saco, Maine, died Friday afternoon at a Boston hospital, said a spokesman for the Bristol district attorney’s office.
“It’s obviously a tragic time for the family, and our deepest condolences go out to them,” Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the district attorney, said in a telephone interview Friday. “The incident is being treated as a tragic accident.”
Cox was playing on a zipline at 4 Shagbark Road on Dec. 26 when one of the pine trees that the line was connected to started to give way. The boy tried to flee, but was struck by the falling tree, Miliote said in a statement Friday.
Easton Fire Lieutenant Ron Keeman said several other people were with Cox in the backyard when the tragic accident occurred, and one of them alerted authorities shortly after 11 a.m.
Matthew, who was visiting family in Easton for the holidays, was rushed to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton before being transferred to Boston Children’s Hospital, Miliote said.
The boy and his family regularly attended St. Mary of the Sacred Heart Church in Hanover until they moved to Saco in September, and Matthew’s father regularly read at Masses.
The Rev. Christopher Hickey, a priest at St. Mary’s, said that he spoke to Matthew’s parents Friday afternoon after he heard of his passing.
“In light of such a horrific incident, they are very composed because they are such faithful people,” Hickey said. “They never missed a Mass.”
Members of the church community flooded St. Mary’s all day Friday to pray for Matthew and his family, according to the pastor.
A website was created in December to update friends and family on Matthew’s condition at Boston Children’s Hospital.
On Thursday, a family member posted an entry entitled “important update” that told readers that the boy would be taken off of life support.
“It is said that our Lord Jesus Christ died on a Friday at 3 p.m., the hour of mercy,” the entry said. “Tomorrow, at 3 p.m., Matthew will have extraordinary measures removed, and our complete hope and trust will be placed in His hands to guide us forward. Please pray for a miracle now and at that special hour for our beautiful son Matthew.”
On Friday, another entry was posted:
“Matt flew into the arms of Jesus at 3:32 p.m. He is one of God’s angels now.”