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EXCLUSIVE: Fall from Tree House Takes the Life of Rutherford Co. Child

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. - As a parent, when a child goes out to play, you never imagine they won't make it home. Sadly, playtime turned deadly after an 11-year-old boy fell from a tree house Tuesday afternoon. Right now, as the boy's Rutherford County family is preparing for his funeral, the community is trying to help.

Hayden Alexander's family says it is a tragic accident.

Gage Roberts used to played Yugio with his best friend, Alexander. The two boys got brand new cards this weekend, but Hayden is not here anymore to play them with Roberts.

"Freak accident. You never think something like that would happen, " said Lisa Neely, Roberts' mother.

Neely also happens to be the best friend of Selena Phillips, Hayden's mother.

Neely says the 11-year old went out to play in the woods at his home off North Lamar street, after school. He went to his normal play area: a tree house on the neighbor's property. Neely says Phillips' partner Karen called for Hayden to come in the house, and sent his older brother to find him.

Neely said, " He found him, and screamed for Karen. He was playing in the tree house and he just fell." 

Karen performed CPR on Hayden until emergency crews arrived to take him to Stonecrest Hospital.

Neely explained, " The treeh ouse is about four feet off the ground and he just couldn't get his footing."


Neely says the John Coleman Elementary student and her son were inseparable, Hayden like another son.

Gage Roberts, Hayden's best friend said, "He was just a good kid. I miss him. My heart goes out to him."

Hayden played drums, sports and participated in the Young Marines. He was the youngest of three children for Selena Phillips.

Neely said, " I know how I feel. I couldn't imagine how she's feeling."

Neely says the family didn't have life insurance and the community is now raising money to help. Hayden Alexander's funeral is this Sunday at at 2pm atWoodfin Funeral Home in Smyrna. A visitation is this Saturday from 4-8pm at Woodfin . If you would like to help the family or donate, CLICK HERE.

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