NEW HOLLAND, Pa. -- Authorities say a 6-year-old boy died after he was kicked in the throat by a pony on a south-central Pennsylvania farm.

Police in Lancaster County tell the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era that the boy was playing with other children in a New Holland pasture on Thursday morning.

Lt. Jonathan Heisse says the boy approached a pony from behind and the animal became startled and kicked the child in the throat, leaving him unable to breathe.

Emergency responders from New Holland Ambulance and Ephrata Community Hospital were called and the boy was airlifted to Hershey Medical Center, where Heisse says he died Friday.

Heisse declined to release the name of the child but said he lives "outside the area."