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Child dies after fall at elementary school

A third-grader at Gwynns Falls Elementary School has died after suffering a head injury during a fall in a school hallway last week, according to Baltimore police and school officials.

Darius Clark, 9, was taken to the school's health suite soon after the fall about 1 p.m. Sept. 24, school officials said. School staff called 911, and the boy was transported by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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The boy died Tuesday evening.

In a letter to the school community, Principal Anthony Felder said Darius had become ill and fallen at school. "Our hearts remain with Darius' family at this difficult time," the principal wrote in the letter.

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"We have no answers in terms of what precipitated this fall," said Edie House-Foster, a spokeswoman for the school system.

When asked how quickly the child was taken to the school's health suite, Foster said everyone in the school "was working diligently to get him help" after the fall.

Tom Yost, an attorney representing Darius' family, said the boy's mother wasn't called until at least 25 minutes after he was injured. When the mother arrived, she found her son unresponsive in the school office.

"He couldn't talk, couldn't move. He was folded over in the chair," Yost said.

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Darius suffered a skull fracture with internal bleeding. He had surgery and was on a ventilator before he died, Yost said.

Both the Baltimore Police Department and school police have investigated the incident and believe it was an accident. Baltimore police said Wednesday the boy's cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner's office.

"Our deepest concerns and thoughts are with the family and the school community," school system officials said in a statement.

Counselors were at the school Wednesday to provide help for children and staff members.

Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

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