Sidney Lanier student dies after fall

Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A 16-year old Lanier High School student has died several days after being admitted to a Birmingham hospital's intensive care unit .

Mark Dowdell apparently fell from a second floor stairwell at the school and suffered severe head injuries. Investigators say there are no signs of foul play.

The Montgomery Public School Board issued this statement upon learning of the child's death:

"The Montgomery County Board of Education, Superintendent Barbara Thompson and MPS employees join the family in mourning the loss of our student. Superintendent Thompson has assigned additional counselors to Lanier High School to assist students and staff. The entire MPS family sends our thoughts and prayers to the family as they look for comfort during this difficult time."

Brittney Cunningham is surrounded by her loving family, but one important member is missing, "It's like he's gone to a friend's house," she said of Dowdell, her brother. Brittney said she's always tried to protect her younger brother. This time was no different. She stayed by his side, praying for his recovery.

"We know he is with us," she said. Her family is trying to move forward, keeping Dowdell close to their minds and hearts. The family would not comment on what caused their relative to fall. Instead, they're waiting for police to finish their investigation.  Investigators say they reviewed the security video and believe the fall was a tragic accident.

Cunningham believes prayer is what's needed most. "We're holding on," she said." We know where he is so we are holding on."

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