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VERNON HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — They lost their son on a sports field when a soccer goal came crashing down on top of him. Tuesday, almost eight years after the tragedy, the Vernon Hills parents will watch the governor sign a bill into law, Zack’s Law.
As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, it’s all about soccer safety goals and protecting kids.
In home video of one of Zack Tran’s soccer games, you hear the 6-year-old’s mom cheering for him. She was at the soccer field for him on that day – and she was there the day he died.
“I saw him lying on the ground with the goal on top of him,” she said.
Father Jayson Tran showed CBS 2 a picture of the kind of goal in question: 6 feet tall, 8 feet wide, up to 400 pounds with no counterbalance.
The couple knows if the goal had been anchored, it never would have fallen. An education mission they began in Zack’s memory became a legislative one to make sure all children who play with or near soccer goals are a little safer.
“We couldn’t spread the word fast enough,” said Michelle Tran. “Since Zack died in 2003, there have been 10 more deaths, one last Friday. We wanted to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else.”
The work paid off. Tuesday, the governor signs a bill. Attorney Shawn Kasserman from the firm Corboy & Demetrio worked with them on “Zack’s Law.”
“Any new goal purchased in the state of Illinois is going to have to be tip-resistant,” Kasserman said. “That means whether it’s anchored or not, it will not be capable of being pushed forward.”
The law also calls for older goal to be tied down or anchored.
Zack’s older sister, Alli, is happy her younger sisters, who play soccer, will have some added protection under the law.
As for those older, grandfathered-in goals that aren’t tip resistant, Zack’s parents say check them. If they aren’t anchored, report them to a coach, a referee, and the agency that owns the goal.