Leo (11) from Laufenburg AG was almost dead. In September 2020, the then nine-year-old fell six meters from the first floor. His mother Marta K.* (33) remembers how she saw her son after the accident in the Basel children’s hospital. “Leo was in the trauma room and covered in blood,” she says to Blick. “He was dying at that moment. Then we went to the operating room. They operated on my Leo there for over six hours.”
20 months have passed since the incident. Now comes the process. The accident happened during lunch at the primary school. A supervisor was responsible for Leo and the other children. The case was dealt with with a penalty order. Adrian Schuler from the Aargau public prosecutor’s office explains: “An appeal was taken against the criminal order of the Rheinfelden-Laufenburg public prosecutor’s office, which is why the case is now being heard before the district court.”
“While the supervisor was away, Leo fell out of the window”
Specifically: According to Blick information, the accused supervisor raised an objection. On June 7th, she has to appear before the Laufenburg district court.
In doing so, she is accused of serious injuries: negligent grievous bodily harm and violation of her duty of care and education. The opinion of Leo’s mother Marta K. is clear: “The supervisor was not aware of her duty. I demand that this person be banned from working.”
According to Leo’s mother, the supervisor left the room at midday in September while the children were playing inside. “While the person was gone, Leo fell out of the window.”
The boy was then nine years old and in third grade. He remembers the fateful day. “After lunch we played a game,” he says to Blick. “The girls had to try to take a stuffed animal away from us boys.” At least one of the floor-to-ceiling windows is said to have been open. Because of Corona, it had to be ventilated.
“I didn’t feel anything”
Then it happens: Leo climbs onto the windowsill, looks behind and talks to the other children. “I supported myself with my hands along the windows,” says the boy. Suddenly he grabs the void and falls down. After the impact on the ground he saw “only white”, says Leo. “I didn’t feel anything.”
The third grader is taken to the hospital and put into an artificial coma. The list of his injuries is horrendous. The mother says: «His right kidney bled into his stomach. His liver had two tears. The bloodstream on the right forearm was shredded. His arms were broken.” That’s not all: Leo suffers a fractured skull. “His meninges were torn. I didn’t know why it was dripping from my nose until seven weeks after the accident,” says the mother. “Brain fluid leaked out.”
“The brain had slipped forward on impact”
Therefore, the boy’s skull had to be opened. “The brain had slipped forward on impact,” explains Marta K. “The crack had to be closed.” The seventh surgery since the accident.
Even now, 20 months after the accident, the external signs can still be seen: Leo has a large scar across his skull. One on the forehead and one on the forearm. And: “The pain is still there,” says the boy. «I have pain while writing. In physical education I have trouble with certain movements. Sometimes my hand hurts. After all, the headaches are becoming less and less.”
But it’s not just this physical component – his nature has also changed, says his mother: “He keeps forgetting things. That was hardly the case before the accident.” And her son was an active and sporty child. “He played tennis, rode motocross, inline skates and bicycles. He hardly ever does any of that anymore, if at all.”
“I lost confidence in this school”
In addition, there was a change in school performance after the accident. “He used to be a good student. Now the grades are bad. Don’t forget: he missed almost four months of classes after the accident.”
Now Leo is back in normal school life. “Yes, yes, I like going there,” he says. But the mother emphasizes: “The school is complicit in my son’s accident.” The building was not built for children. ‘There should be bars on the windows. Or they should only open a few centimetres.” Her conclusion: “I have lost confidence in this school.”
Meanwhile, the headmaster of the school in Laufenburg, Philipp Grolimund, expresses his dismay and that of the teachers: “The seriousness of the accident concerned us all very much.” One is therefore very happy and relieved that Leo has been able to attend regular classes again for a long time. He could not answer the questions asked by Blick and referred to the city of Laufenburg.
But even this does not comment on request – because of the ongoing proceedings. And lawyer André Kuhn (47), defending the accused supervisor, says he does not want to comment before the trial.
* Name known to editors