collin boy killed by broken golf club

friday, July 8, 2005

- by dakarai i. aarans / the dallas morning news

(from the Dallas Morning News)
Frisco: Father not sure how incident during Kentucky visit occurred

A Frisco 12-year-old known for his adventurous spirit and unselfish acts died this week after falling on the end of a broken golf club.

Chandler Hugh Jackson died Wednesday night in Cunningham, Ky., after the golf club went through the base of his neck, pierced his chest cavity and hit the aorta, McCracken County Coroner Dan Sims told the Paducah Sun newspaper.

"There are hearts all over Dallas, Carrollton and Frisco broken tonight," his father, Rick Jackson, said Friday. "Something significant is going to come out of this freak, bizarre accident."

Mr. Jackson, a Kentucky native, said he wasn't sure what happened on the Dogwood Hill golf course Wednesday night. He heard Chandler yelling for help and found that the iron his son had been using had snapped.

The all-star Little Leaguer was to join his team in Collierville, Tenn., this weekend for the Super Series Baseball of America National Championship. He was in Kentucky to visit his father's family on the Fourth of July.

A student at Arbor Creek Middle School in Carrollton, Chandler was named after former baseball commissioner and Kentucky governor A.B. "Happy" Chandler.

He dreamed of being a professional baseball player and earned the nickname Crash from all the bruises he collected during his adventurous life, which included skateboarding.

Chandler was always easy to spot after baseball games. He was usually the dirtiest one, with holes in his pants, said his mother, Charmane Jackson.

But Chandler was more than a sports enthusiast, his family said. He would give up a skateboard for a friend, or make sure his dad picked up gum for the other kids on his Little League team.

Ms. Jackson said she was going to miss the times she spent with her son, whether they were snuggling on the couch or scuba diving.

"He truly was the only person that loved me so unconditionally," she said. "His dad and I went through a divorce and he always said, 'I will take care of you, Mom.' "

In rough times, mother and son would sing their favorite song, "You Are My Sunshine," together.

Chandler's sister, Lindsey Brunsman, said her brother knew he was blessed to have a family who loved him and could provide for his material needs, and he wanted to share that with others.

"I know it was a spiritual gift from God," Ms. Brunsman said of Chandler's compassion. "The Holy Spirit lived in him, and he had Christ-like love."

During a recent trip to Dave and Buster's, Chandler used his prize tickets to get gifts for Suzette Massie's 11-year-old twin boys, who didn't win as many games.

"He always knew that he was so lucky and so blessed and wanted to share that with other people," Ms. Massie said.

His family has decided to honor Chandler's legacy by starting a foundation in his memory.

Services will be today in Paducah, and another memorial is planned for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Hebron Community Church in Carrollton.



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