Toddler's death devastates Alsace family
A sister discovers the 2-year-old in a car at the family's house.
A 2-year-old Alsace Township boy died after he climbed into a car at his family's house and was found about an hour later by one of his sisters, state police said Thursday.
Izak Tucker Allen, who would have turned 3 next month, was found unresponsive Wednesday about 5 p.m. in a car outside his house in the 100 block of Beckers Road by his 15-year-old sister, Kalli, troopers and his family said.
According to investigators:
Izak, who has 11 brothers and sisters, was at home with his family and was taking an afternoon nap in the house.
At some point he woke up and left the house through the back door without anyone seeing him. About an hour later, Kalli Allen went to the four-door car to retrieve soccer gear and discovered her brother.
She called for their parents and someone called 9-1-1.
Family members performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation guided by emergency dispatchers until paramedics arrived.
Paramedics continued CPR and took Izak to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 5:52 p.m. after hospital staff tried in vain to revive him.
The Berks County coroner's office said an autopsy is scheduled today in Reading Hospital by Dr. Supriya Kuruvilla, a forensic pathologist. The coroner's office had not yet determined the cause or manner of death and was continuing to investigate.
State police called the death accidental. The family confirmed the account given by Trooper Robert E. Hess of the Reading station, who headed the investigation.
It was unclear how Izak entered the car or why he remained inside.
He was the second-youngest in the family of 12 children, who range in age from 1 to 17 years old.
The family said Izak, whom they called "I.I." and "Hambone," loved to be dirty and was always messy no matter how many baths he took. His favorite activity was to jump on the trampoline in their yard. He was always a bundle of energy, his family said.
"He was just a loving, fun, very smart kid, even for his age," said his father, Daniel Allen. "He's a friend of everybody and loved animals and playing and jumping, especially jumping. He loved active stuff and was a very active boy.
"He was very loving and wanted to just be around everybody in the family. You would sit down and he would be right there."
Family in shock
Thursday afternoon, the mood was somber in the Allen house.
The sun was shining outside in the rural neighborhood near the end of Skyline Drive, but inside it seemed as though a cloud hung over the big living room full of Izak's siblings, cousins and family friends.
Some of the younger children had made popcorn and were watching a movie, but the older ones were just sad, staring off into space.
Friends and neighbors were stopping in to offer food and condolences.
"We've been together since it happened, and we've just gathered around and rallied as a family helping everybody out," Daniel Allen said as his wife, Trish, sat on a sofa with some of the kids sobbing. "And we've had a lot of friends' support, helping us out and bringing us food.
"We're just trying to be as happy as you can be at this point."
Kalli, who is Izak's second oldest sister, was too upset to talk, but later sent this message via Facebook: "Its hard to lose someone you love. I'll never forget the day I lost my two-year-old baby brother in a tragic way. The times are hard but my family and friends are helping me work through it. They are here 24/7, but even though they are here I'm always thinking how I gave you baths and took naps together and the way you ate a million babybell cheeses and cheese sticks everyday. You always made every day a blast. R.I.P Izak I love you."
Izak's 11-year-old brother, Jordan, remembered the things the boys liked doing together.
"I'm going to miss looking for toads and frogs with him," Jordan said. "We did that every day."
Izak's mother said they are all going to miss taking him on the trampoline - "the jump jump as he used to call it," she recalled.
Daniel said the family is in shock.
"Everybody that's here is just numb," he said. "It feels like you are numb. He's missing and it's hard to imagine he's not here anymore."
Even in a big family with 12 children, Izak had a special place and reputation.
"Each kid has their own traits," his father said. "But his love that he gave everybody was just so great."
Contact Jason A. Kahl: 610-371-5024 or firstname.lastname@example.org.