Tragedy Strikes Pastor's Family as 6-Year-Old Suffers 'Freak Accident' Playing Badminton - 'We Heard Screaming'


A New Jersey pastor and his family are in the thoughts and prayers of Americans in the wake of a terrible accident that left a 6-year-old girl dead during a vacation in Maine earlier this month.

According to the New York Post, Lucy Morgan died Wednesday in Maine after a freak accident left a fragment of a badminton racket in her head.

“The tragedy unfolded Saturday as the Morgan family of six enjoyed their last full day at their rental cottage in Limerick, Maine, according to her father Jesse Morgan, a pastor at Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway,” the New York Post reported.

“We were eating a quick lunch by the lake and the kids decided to try badminton in the front yard. Bethany and I were relaxing in the back when we heard screaming,” Morgan said on his blog.

“Due to a freak accident with a racquet that broke on a downward swing, a sharp piece had entered Lucy’s skull while she was sitting on the sideline and caused catastrophic injury.”

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The girl was breathing when EMS responded to the scene, but after airlifting the girl to Maine Medical Center in Portland, she flatlined on the operating table after surgeons tried to remove part of her skull to relieve pressure.

She was resuscitated, but doctors warned the family that she had “a very slim chance of survival, given the arterial bleeds caused by the wound.”

At 4 a.m. Wednesday, the girl died.

Reports said the shaft of the badminton racket — which was aluminum — came loose from the wooden base and struck her through the head.

Maine State Police said that her death was caused by “unintentional injury from her 10-year-old brother.”

“Every time I looked into the rear view mirror, wishing I saw Lucy munching on some chicken nuggets after we stopped at Wendy’s and only ordered for 5,” Jesse Morgan wrote in a blog post, remembering the car trip up to Maine.

In the post, the pastor shared heartbreaking anecdotes about his daughter’s journey with God.

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“Four weeks ago she asked [her mother] Bethany how to be with God and be saved,” the blog post reads.

“Bethany explained it to her and offered to pray with her, but ‘Miss Independent’ wanted to do it herself. She went to her room and prayed to God to forgive her and that she believed in Jesus’ death and resurrection. What a gift.”

As for the pastor himself, he wondered in the post if he could take his own lessons.

“I just taught on processing grief in the last Adult Bible Class I taught before sabbatical,” Morgan wrote.

“Am I willing to submit to my own advice? Right now holding her hand I’m not sure, but I want to. I’ve been physically beating my chest asking for faith.”

He added he’d “been reading yesterday about phases in our spiritual lives where God shows us something hard and walks with us through it.

“I observed I have been a bit resistant to this in my journaling. Bethany and I then discussed Job as she finished her Bible reading plan with that book. Yesterday we were discussing how terrifying the book is. It’s even more so now. So gravely terrifying and mysteriously comforting.”

Meanwhile, the girl’s siblings — 10, 8 and 4 — were apparently “blaming themselves and taking it hard.”

The brother who accidentally caused the injury asked his mother and father “how we could ever be happy again,” according to one post.

When they first arrived home with one less family member, “We just sat on the front steps for a while crying until I finally mustered up the courage to open the door. We again collapsed in a pile on the kitchen floor crying harder as a family than we ever have,” he wrote.

It is consolation — albeit scant consolation in the acute, earthly sense — that, after a freak accident that was nobody’s fault, Lucy is in Heaven with the Lord. Beyond that, our prayers should be not only with the pastor and his wife but also with the children.

For those who want to go beyond supplication, a GoFundMe for the family has amassed almost $100,000 as of early Saturday morning. If you can give, do.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture