AZ playground dedicated to memorialize child's death - Tucson News Now

AZ playground dedicated to memorialize child's death

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Chace Alderete (Source: CBS 5 News) Chace Alderete (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (CBS5) -

A Valley community is using the memory of a 6-year-old boy crushed in an accident to help keep other children safe.

The Alderete family dedicated a newly built playground for Chace Alderete on Saturday.

They said it symbolizes his love for playing and the joy he had when surrounded by other kids.

"This playground is in his memory," said Anthony Alderete, the boy's father. "It's an ecstatic feeling. We're so happy to have it here."

The Apache Junction playground was constructed on an empty dirt lot used for horse trailer parking.

In March, Chace was playing at the Arizona Youth Rough Riders, a ranch where kids can help take care of horses. He was playing around a horse trailer when the door opened and crushed him.

The accident happened only six days after Chace's sixth birthday.

"Thinking about this, if we had a playground, this may not have happened," said Charles Alderete, Chace's grandfather.

Charles Alderete runs the ranch. He reached out to Rural Metro firefighters who tried to save Chace, to build the memorial.

"This playground which the community has come together to put together and fund, is literally on the site where he died. It will have his name, his memory and legacy," said Rural Metro spokesperson Colin Williams.

Alderete said his grandson befriended every kid he came across and that Chace's trademark phrase will always live on.

"We're going to have a sign that says, 'Hey kid! Come over here!' I want to thank everybody," he said.

Relatives said that's what Chace told all the other kids who he wanted to play with at the rec center.

The family began erecting the playground in the middle of October.

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