10-year-old burn victim wakes up from coma

Kayden Culp was placed into a medically induced coma Oct. 2 after suffering burns on 20 percent of his body

By Zeke MacCormack
The San Antonio Express-News

KERRVILLE, Texas — The Kerrville boy burned by flaming gasoline Oct. 2 has emerged from a drug-induced coma at University Hospital, but hasn’t discussed how he was injured, his father said Wednesday.

“He’s in and out (of consciousness),” Bobby Hatchett said of Kayden Culp, 10, who was burned over 20 percent of his body.

Initial accounts relayed by Tristyn Hatchett, Culp’s mother, suggested the injuries may have been intentionally inflicted by one or more of three neighborhood boys.

One child, whose name was not released because he’s a minor, has been charged with arson in the case. In announcing the arrest, police said the burning appeared to have occurred accidentally, but the investigation was continuing.

Hatchett said doctors took Culp off a respirator Tuesday and he had awoken, but is still medicated and only semi-conscious.

“He was scared,” when he woke, Hatchett said. “He asked if he was dying.”

Hatchett said he had yet to hear Culp’s version of events, but said, “As soon as he’s able to talk coherently, everybody’s going to hear from him.”

At a press briefing last week, Kerrville Police Chief David Knight said the four friends had started a fire in a vacant lot in the 800 block of Wallace Street, but they didn’t think it was large enough, so one of the boys got gasoline.

He said the unidentified minor now charged with arson allegedly poured the gas from a container — believed to be a small cooler —onto the fire, igniting gas still in the container, prompting him to drop the container, splashing Culp in the process.

The detained boy’s family denied he poured the gas on the fire and said that if one boy is to be charged over the incident, then all four boys involved in making the fire should be charged.

Copyright 2016 The San Antonio Express-News
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