State

Modesto Boy, 5, dies after cabinet falls on him during move

A 5-year-old Modesto boy died Sunday after a cabinet fell on him while the family was moving out of their foreclosed home, family members said.

Modesto firefighters rushed to the 2400 block of Phar Lap Avenue at 11 a.m., found the boy unresponsive and administered advanced life support, said Battalion Chief Hugo Patino.

The boy was taken by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. A helicopter had been called to take the boy to an unknown hospital but was unable to fly because of the weather, Patino said.

Robert Martinez Jr., son of Robert and Maria Theresa Martinez, was a kindergartner at nearby Freedom Elementary School, his grandmother, Eudulia Martinez, said Sunday evening. The accident happened in a neighborhood south of Floyd Avenue and west of Claus Road.

The family had lost their home to foreclosure, said Eudulia Martinez, who was at work when the accident happened.

Her son and daughter-in-law were putting furniture in the garage before loading it for the move, she said. While family members were busy, the boy opened the garage door, which hit the tall cabinet and caused it to tip. Robert rushed to stop it from falling, and it landed on him.

"It's so hard," Eudulia Martinez said about the family's loss.

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