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Minn. boy, 5, dies when tree falls on him in backyard hammock

ELK RIVER, Minn. -- A 5-year-old Minnesota boy died Tuesday when a tree fell on him as he was playing in his backyard hammock, authorities say.

Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott said that the boy was playing with other children on the hammock when a 7-foot-tall tree the hammock was attached to uprooted, fell and hit the boy's head.

The boy, Edward Joseph Michalek of Big Lake Township, was pronounced dead at the scene, Brott said.

“This was a freak accident that led to the tragic loss of a young life," the sheriff said. "Our thoughts are with Edward's family during this difficult time."