The 15-year-old athlete was receiving psychological counseling.
It appears from news reports that Strack may have been at fault in going out into the field while the throw was still in the air to measure the distance.
In 2007, French athlete Salim Sdiri was hit in the back by a stray javelin during a competition in Rome. He survived with serious injuries.
I was interested in how this type of accident is handled and found one case out of Louisiana in 1972. Siau v. Rapides Parish School Bd., 264 So. 2d 372 (1972). That case however involved a truly bizarre negligence claim. A javelin had been left on the side of a school field with it tip pointed above the ground. Saiu had been declared as ineligible to join a mandatory run with the rest of the kids because he was not wearing the appropriate clothes. He then insisted that he would run anyway on the inner grass of the field:
However, when Siau started to run, the record shows that one of the regular coaches spotted him and yelled at him to stop. Disregarding this, Siau yelled that he would run anyway. It was established that no track events in the physical education program were ever run on the grass inside the fence — one reason being that the distance was not an accurate 440 yards. The only physical [**4] education activities conducted on the grass were the discus and shot put, both of which were carried out on the north end of the field. There was an occasional touch football game on the field. None of these events was permitted on this date. Students were allowed to walk across the field to reach the west side of the track where all races were started.
Siau ran along the inside of the four foot fence ahead of the participants on the track. At some point before reaching the east gate, plaintiff testified that he turned his head to the right and rear to observe the students on the track. While looking to the side, he ran past the gate and into the javelin. He never returned his vision to the direction in which he was running although he was running at top speed. Also, during the entire time he was running, he was not wearing his glasses. It was established that without glasses he could not distinguish the features of his parents faces at a distance of 20 to 25 feet.
The court dismissed the action on the basis of the negligence of the boy, noting “[w]hile one is not required to look for hidden dangers, he is nevertheless bound to proceed with his eyes open and to observe his course to see what is in his pathway.” The court found that the boy’s negligence was the proximate cause of the injury.