N.J. police detective praised for retrieving gear of injured Utah Little Leaguer

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The family of the Utah Little Leaguer injured when he fell from an upper bunk at the world series in South Williamsport is praising a Jersey City police detective for retrieving the boy’s gear inadvertently left in a rental car.

“He was amazing,” Derek Oliverson said Tuesday about Detective Kevin Wendolowski.

Oliverson is an uncle of Easton Oliverson who was critically injured in a middle-of-the-night fall on Aug. 15 in housing complex where world series players and coaching staff stay.

The youngster, whose injuries included a fractured skull, was flown to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville where he underwent surgery.

Derek Oliverson and another of Easton’s uncles in August drove from Danville to South Williamsport to pick up boy’s gear still in the dorm.

The other uncle later drove the car he had rented to Newark, New Jersey, to catch a flight home but forgot the gear was in the trunk.

The car had been rented through Turo, an app in which people rent their cars.

“Initially, the rental car owner reached out to let us know that the gear had been left behind,” Derek Oliverson said.

“We arranged for him to mail everything to us and we would reimburse him for any costs. After a week of not receiving anything, we reached back out and tried to get the car owner to send everything.”

That individual stopped responding so the family reached out to Turo but he said it did not provide any help.

After spending a few months trying to get everything mailed with no response, the family decided Monday to make a Facebook post asking for help.

One of those who responded was Wendolowski who reached out to Easton’s father Jace.

Within three hours Monday night, Wendolowski and several other officers retrieved the gear that included two helmets, a bat, world series jersey and a baseball glove, Derek Oliverson said.

“The immediate outpouring of love and concern for Easton was again amazing,” he said speaking for the family.

Little League International is thrilled to hear the equipment was safely located and will be promptly returned to him, spokesperson Brian McClintock said.

Easton Oliverson, 12, with Dr. Oded Goren at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pa. Oliverson has been treated at the hospital for a fractured skull since Aug. 15, 2022. He was in the area with his team, the Snow Canyon All Stars from Santa Clara, Utah, for the Little League World Series. Easton will be leaving Pennsylvania on Aug. 31 to continue his recovery at a hospital in Salt Lake City.

Easton, a member of the Snow Canyon all-stars from Santa Clara, Utah, has undergone multiple surgeries for injuries that included a fractured skull and is recovering at home in Utah.

In the coming weeks he will find out if he’ll be required to get a prosthetic skull piece put in where his skull had been removed after the injury, his family says.

Meanwhile the lawsuit filed by Jace and Nancy Oliverson on their son’s behalf over the fall continues in Philadelphia common pleas court with the recently filing of another amended complaint.

Little League and the other defendant, bunk manufacturer John Savoy and Son Inc. of Montoursville, are accused of negligence.

Jace Oliverson, who was a coach on the team, also seeks damages for himself on the grounds of negligent infliction of emotional distress. He did not witness the fall but saw his son in pain on the floor.

Currently before the court are motions by Little League and Savoy, which does business as Savoy Contract Furniture, to either dismiss the suit or move it to Lycoming County. A case management conference is scheduled Monday.

The Oliversons claim Little League was negligent for not having railings on the upper bunks to prevent falls.

The suit accuses Savoy of selling “dangerous and defective” bunk beds that “caused significant and permanent injuries” Easton.

Immediately after the incident Little League moved the upper bunk frames to the floor throughout International Grove where the teams and coaching staffs stay during the series.

Easton Oliverson

Santa Clara, Utah’s Brogan Oliverson, center, receives a medal during player introductions before a baseball game against Nolensville, Tenn., at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. Brogan is taking the place of his brother Easton, who was injured when he fell out of his bunk. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)AP

Adam Savoy, the firm’s vice president, previously said the company’s standard operating procedure when quoting single beds that have bunking capability includes this alert: “For Safety and Fall Prevention, Savoy Strongly Recommends the Use of Guard Rails and Ladders when Beds are Bunked or Lofted.”

Two warning labels are affixed to each bed recommending the use of guard rails and ladders to any bed bunked or lofted, he said.


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