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Elementary School death ruled accidental, caused by asphyxia
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Five-year-old Andrea Tyrah DeBruhl died due to asphyxia after being caught in playground equipment at the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett Monday, according to the autopsy report issued by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s medical examiner Wednesday.

A release from the Covington Police Department (CPD) stated that the death was accidental.

“She had been climbing on top of a dome shaped playground structure when she experienced an emergency,” the CPD release said.

According to CPD, CPR was performed on the student DeBruhl by teachers and continued by officers once they arrived on scene.

DeBruhl was then transported by EMS to Piedmont Newton where life saving measures continued. She was later pronounced dead.

“We are struggling to comprehend the heartbreaking accident that occurred Monday afternoon and are grieving over the loss of such a beautiful little girl,” a release from the Newton County School System (NCSS) said.

According to the NCSS, 10 teachers and paraprofessionals were actively supervising students on the playground when the accident occurred.

“We are devastated when we learned that she had passed away later that afternoon,” the NCSS release said.
Counselors were at the Theme School at Ficquett to provide support to those affected.

“We extend our sincerest condolences to the family as we know they are truly devastated,” another release from NCSS said. “Grief doesn’t even begin to describe what the students and staff at Newton County Theme School are feeling right now. We know that this family is absolutely devastated and our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask that the community keep them in their prayers as well.

A vigil was held for DeBruhl at Covington First United Methodist Church Wednesday evening, with community members showing support for the young girl’s family and each other in this time of sorrow.

“The students, parents, and employees at Newton County Theme School are like one big family and we’re already seeing the love and support they are showing for each other and most importantly, for the family of that beautiful little girl.“

“The heartfelt support the children and employees at the school have received from the Covington/Newton County community has been overwhelming and is truly appreciated,” the NCSS release said. “We extend our sincerest condolences to this family as we know they are in a state of shock and unbelievable grief.