Clothesline pole falls, kills 6-year-old Laz Ayon in his Lodi backyard

The pole that fell onto Laz Ayon, killing him. Photo via

It was a freak accident that left 6-year-old Laz Ayon dead, his mother distraught beyond words and neighbors in a close-knit Lodi neighborhood struggling with grief. Laz was killed May 17 when a rusty steel pole used for a clothing line fell on him.The little boy and his 10-year-old brother, Ivan, had been cleaning up their backyard on Walnut Street when the pole fell, according to media reports. Ivan broke his leg but survived. The website reported that the boy’s mother, Karen, cradled the dying child in her arms. “The mother kept screaming, ‘Please help my son. Get him the ambulance,'” the newspaper quoted Donna Destefano. “It was devastating to see a mother cradling her child like that.”


The children were reportedly playing in the backyard when the pole fell on them. Laz’s brother, Ivan, broke his leg but survived. Photo via

Laz was in kindergarten at Roosevelt Elementary School, which is down the street from the home. According to media reports, the heavy pole was 10 feet tall. It collapsed and fell on top of Ivan and his brother, according to, which posted this story.

“All of a sudden, we heard a horrendous noise, and two seconds later screaming,” Destefano told The Record.

Destefano said her husband ran out and lifted the pole off Laz who had fallen face-first onto a concrete walkway.

Laz was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Laz with his mom, Karen, in a Facebook photo.


Here’s the obituary that ran in local newspapers and on the web:

Ayon,Lazaro David, 6, of Lodi, passed away on May 17, 2012.
Born in Ridgewood on April 10, 2006. Lazaro was a kindergarten student at Roosevelt School in Lodi. Loving son of Karen (nee Alonso) and Lazaro Ayon. Dear brother of Ivan and Giselle Ayon. His maternal grandparents Jaime and Aura Alonso of Hasbrouck Heights and his paternal grandmother Marta Ayon of Carlstadt and his paternal grandfather Aurelio Ayon of Miami, FL. Also survived by his aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Funeral from Costa Memorial Home, Boulevard and Central Ave., Hasbrouck Heights on Tuesday at 9 AM. Funeral Liturgy from Corpus Christi R.C. Church, Hasbrouck Heights at 10 AM. Cremation following at Cedar Lawn Crematory. Visitation Monday 2-4 and 7-9

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