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updated: 3/17/2014 8:10 AM

Indiana baseball death creates lifesaving legacy

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Associated Press

UNION CITY, Ind. -- An 8-year-old eastern Indiana boy who was fatally injured when struck in the neck by a baseball is leaving a legacy of steps being taken to save the lives of others.

The July 18 death of Dylan Williams of Union City spurred a nonprofit called Heart Reach to donate eight automatic external defibrillators for placement in the area.

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Also, the Union City Baseball Boosters organization now will require all of its head and assistant coaches to receive training in how to use the lifesaving machines and in CPR. And the Dylan Williams Always an All-Star Foundation has been established to promote organ donation and field safety for children, and to teach about the importance of having automatic external defibrillators at ball fields.

"It's huge," Cobie Wells, Union City's police chief and president of the booster group, told The (Muncie) Star Press (http://tspne.ws/1dcm3I8 ). "Talking about Dylan's legacy, itself, you just couldn't imagine what has taken place."

Dylan died a day after a baseball accidentally hit the young first baseman in the neck during a practice. The cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Wells said that in the wake of Dylan's death, Heart Reach donated two AEDs to the city. One was placed at the South Side Baseball Diamonds, the site of Dylan's accident, and the other was given to the boy's family.

After raising more money, Heart Reach donated six more AEDs. Two have been placed in police cars patrolling the city about 75 miles northeast of Indianapolis and two each went to Randolph Eastern Schools and to the Mississinawa Valley Schools in nearby western Ohio.

Union City straddles the border between Indiana and Ohio.

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