Authorities are investigating the death of an 11-year-old girl from Haverhill, Massachusetts, who died Tuesday after being hospitalized following a medical call over the weekend.
Precious Wallaces was placed on life support after a medical call early Saturday morning to a multi-family home on Jackson Street in Lawrence. The Essex County District Attorney's Office said Wallaces was taken to Lawrence General Hospital, then airlifted to Tufts Medical Center where she was on life support for several days. The DA's office announced around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday that Wallaces had died.
On the 911 call that came in early Saturday morning, a dispatcher can be heard saying, “Medic assist...Baby ate a bunch of candy and is now bleeding from the nose and mouth…having a hard time breathing.”
A man who lives in the same building says, "I heard the ambulances, and I looked out the window and saw three ambulances out there."
He says the paramedics and police officers rushed up to a room on the second floor.
"State cop came in with a camera and said they had to go back and take a look at the room," the neighbor said.
While the facts and circumstances surrounding the medical call are being investigated, the sixth grader is being remembered for her sweet smile.
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"I apologize that she is gone. She was a beautiful kid. I've seen her around her for the past four years," the neighbor said.
The Haverhill mayor and superintendent joined many in mourning the loss of Wallaces.
"Sadness has once again gripped our school community. Precious Wallaces, a beautiful and well-loved girl that attended the Consentino School, passed this afternoon after an accident over the weekend left her on life supports," Haverhill Superintendent Margaret Marotta said in a letter to the school community. "Our condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of Precious."
"The city of Haverhill sends its condolences to the family of Precious Wallaces...who tragically passed away today," Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini said on Facebook Tuesday night. "Our thoughts are with the family during this Christmas season."
Mayor Fiorentini also said grief counselors would be available Wednesday at the Consentino School where the 11-year-old girl attended the sixth grade.
In a letter posted on the school's website, Superintendent Marotta added that in addition to onsite counseling staff from Haverhill Public Schools, staff from Riverside Trauma Center will be available to families by phone as requested.
"As we open our schools, our students will be faced with this tragic news and will begin to cope with the inevitable grief that comes with losing a classmate and friend. As a school system, we will be offering counseling and bereavement support services to all our students and staff, particularly those who knew Precious well at the Consentino and Tilton Schools," the letter read in part.
Superintendent Marotta said she would share information about funeral services for Wallaces once it becomes available.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time of loss and grief," Marotta said. "Thank you for your support as we move forward."
The Essex County District Attorney’s Office, Lawrence police and the Essex State Police Detective Unit are investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding Wallaces' death.
No further information was immediately available.