Mother speaks about fall at Capitol

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 6:18pm

THIS IS AN NBC33 UPDATE - A "Keep Off" sign has been added below the ledge where a boy fell at the State Capitol.

The sign is where a nine year-old fell from a ledge on the side of the steps outside the building. The boy's mother says more should be done.

NBC33 News has learned the Office of Risk Management is looking into the accident. No word on if or when rails could be installed.

After finding out her son nearly died in a 30-foot fall from the Capitol steps, during a school field trip, Katherine Sturgill-Illes is now dealing with his fragile recovery.

"Nobody can guarantee me what's going to happen today, tomorrow," said Sturgill-Illes outside of Our Lady of the Lake. "We're not out of the woods yet, not even close."

Her son, nine-year-old Andrew Illes, was standing with a group of kids on the elevated area next to the steps, when he took a step back too far, and plummeted nearly 30-feet to the concrete below.

Illes, broke nearly every major bone in his body.

"Two broken legs, two broken heels, ankles, broken arms, shoulders," Sturgill-Illes said as she described the extent of her son's injuries. "And now he's having back and neck issues. This should have never, ever happened."

Sturgill-Illes is outraged that this happened to her son, and vows to lead the fight to install some type of guard-rail or safety-net, to protect others from harm.

While making no promises on the issue, Governor Bobby Jindal sympathized with the family. He said the state legislature is in charge of the grounds around the Capitol.

"We hope for a speedy recovery for the young child so that he can get back up and around playing and going back to school and resume his normal activities," Jindal said. "As a father - not just as the governor - my heart, my thoughts, my prayers go out to the family and to the little boy. "

The state legislature ultimately will decide what safety measures need to be taken. But for a reeling mother, the wait for results, is unnecessary.

"They're going to have kids there tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after," Sturgill-Illes said. "Unless they want this to happen and a kid to die, like mine almost did, it's not worth it. Just put it up"

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