Louisville, KY Child Falls to Death, Aug 1924

Courier Journal newspaper, Louisville, KY - Thursday 14 August 1924

News article/photos; Section 1, Front page; Continued, Section 1, Page 3, Column 5A

Child's Fall to Death Results in Barred Windows at Hospital

Screen Supposed to Be Closed, But May Have Been Open, Acting Head Says

The death Tuesday night of BERTHA JOHNSON, 9 years old, in a fall from a window of the children's ward at the City Hospital, resulted in orders Wednesday for iron bars for the windows. They were ordered by Mrs. Ada Belle Harris, acting superintendent, after she had investigated the circumstances of the girl's death.

At the present time four of the nine windows of the porch of the children's ward are without bars, and it was through one of these the JOHNSON girl fell. There was a screen on the window, but whether it gave way when the girl leaned against it or whether she unhooked it has not been determined. There are small hooks at the bottom, easily within the reach of a child.

It was against the rules for the windows not barred to have been open, Mrs. Harris said. However, she added, this rule probably had been violated often during the hot weather.

The bars, which are already on five of the windows, are strong enough to prevent such an accident.

The nurses had been called to the opposite end of the ward when the JOHNSON girl fell. The ward is on the second floor and death resulted almost instantly. Dr. C. J. Armstrong, who issued the statement Tuesday night of the circumstances of the child's death, said she was leaning out of the window in order to wave to her father, who was a patient in the next wing of the hospital. Coroner Roy L. Carter, after an investigation Wednesday, disagreed with the theory of Dr. Armstrong. He said it was impossible for the girl to have seen her father from the window from which she fell.

Dr. Carter said the girl was looking at persons on the street, and that the screen gave way when she leaned against it. This theory is upheld by Mrs. Harris.

Hospital authorities at first refused to give out information. A patrolman sent to the hospital to investigate, was refused particulars. Dr. Armstrong later issued a statement.

The Johnson family lived at 1200 West Kentucky Street. The father was to have been dismissed from the hospital Wednesday, but the shock of his daughter's death prevented his leaving.

Funeral services for the girl will be held at 3 o'clock this afternoon at the residence. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

JOHNSON BERTHA M, age 006, died in JEFFERSON County, KY on 08-12-1924
KY Death Certificate #037-18377

Find A Grave Memorial# 66400691