Zach's Law to protect kids playing soccer

August 2, 2011 4:37:16 AM PDT
A bill will be signed into state law Tuesday in memory of a suburban boy who was killed in a soccer accident.

Zach Tran, 6, died when a soccer goal fell on him. His family hopes the new law will protect other players.

His family had two options after Zach's death. They could have treated it as a freak accident and do their best to move on. Or they could take upon themselves to investigate what happened whether soccer goals posed a bigger danger. They chose the latter.

Zach was a pint-sized sports star who tried it all: golf, snowboarding, and soccer. He was practicing soccer when a goal toppled over.

"Nobody saw it go over. When I left he was kicking the ball around with another boy not near the goal," said Michelle Tran, mother.

Michelle and Jayson Tran have made it their mission in the eight years since Zach's death to raise awareness of the dangers posed by soccer goals that can fall over and crush a child. They say there have been 30 deaths in the last three decades, including one in England just last week.

"The coroner tested it. It took 25 pounds of force to pull it over at two feet tall. So really a toddler could pull it over or the wind could knock it over it or if it had been at all on on an incline. These things are just really unstable," said Michelle Tran.

The law Governor Quinn will sign Tuesday bans the manufacture or sale of new soccer goals that are not tip resistant. Older goals must be properly anchored according to Consumer Product Safety Commission specs.

While Zach's big sister says she hasn't returned to the soccer field, his younger sisters have on fields outfitted with safer goals. It's a testament to his memory and legacy.

"My sisters, I wasn't sure I liked them playing soccer but now I know it's gonna be safer and my parents support it so I'm starting to be okay with it," said Alli Tran, sister.

"We felt he would have looked at this like, 'Hey, you guys are actually doing something about this danger. We feel he's looking down on us and smiling on us,'" said Jayson Tran.

Zach's parents say in eight years since his death, ten more people have died as a result of soccer goals that tip over. The Trans say when they spot unsafe goals they report them to the local school or park district and often they're unaware of the dangers.

More about Zachary Tran:
www.zacktranfund.org

Consumer Product Safety Commission:
www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/Soccer.pdf

Illinois Soccer Goal Safety Law:
www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1130&GAID=11&DocTypeID=HB&SessionID=84&GA=97

"Anchored for Safety"
www.anchoredforsafety.org


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