Tennessee boy, 10, dies days after being swept into neighborhood storm drain

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A 10-year-old boy swept into a storm drain after a severe weather outbreak in Tennessee has officially died nearly 10 days after the tragic accident, according to his father. 

Asher Sullivan and other neighborhood children were playing in the water as neighbors picked up storm debris following severe thunderstorms on May 8 when Asher became caught in a storm drain and was pulled under the street. 

Asher was pulled out, and life-saving efforts were administered, according to the boy’s father, Jimmy Sullivan, who is the superintendent of Rutherford County Schools. He has been at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where teams attempted to treat his severe brain injury due to a lack of oxygen to his brain.

Sullivan shared an emotional update on Saturday, saying his 10-year-old son “officially passed away” at 1:20 p.m. CT. Sullivan said while speaking with doctors a few rooms away from Asher, his vitals crashed, and his one remaining brain stem reflex was gone.

“Our sweet boy did what Asher has always done, he put others first. No longer did Kaycee and I have to make an impossible decision,” Sullivan wrote. “Instead, he made it for us while we were out of the room.”

Asher remains on life support because his family has decided to donate his organs.

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Sullivan said being an organ donor is “100% an ‘Asher’ type of thing to do in continuing to be selfless.”

In the coming days, Vanderbilt will have an honor walk at the hospital to celebrate Asher’s life and how he will help others by being an organ donor.

On the day of Asher’s tragic accident, parts of Rutherford County were under a rare Tornado Emergency – the most extreme warning from the National Weather Service – after a tornado was spotted near Eagleville.

The same severe weather event caused a lightning strike that started a deadly house fire and claimed three lives, including a child and a pregnant woman in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.