Saturday 18 November 2017

Boy (3) killed in tractor accident on family farm

Breda Heffernan and Mark Kennedy

A THREE-year-old boy was killed in a horrific accident in the farmyard of his home.

The toddler, named locally as Eric Whelan, was hit by a reversing tractor at the family farm in Raheen, a mile north of Baltinglass in Co Wicklow.

The tragedy occurred at around 11am yesterday. Emergency services made frantic efforts to revive the boy, but they could not save him.

The boy was brought to Naas General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

His parents were said to be "distraught" at the sudden death of their son and were being comforted by shocked family and friends.

It is believed that a number of contractors were working in the farmyard at the time and that the driver of the tractor didn't spot the youngster as he was reversing the vehicle.

The Health and Safety Authority and the gardai are carrying out separate investigations into the death.

A garda spokesman said it was still unclear how the accident had happened but it appeared that the tractor was reversing at the time.

A local man, who knows the family, said they were highly regarded and respected in the community and were popular with their neighbours.

He added that news of the tragic death had stunned the area.

Eric is the second toddler to be killed in a traffic accident close to their homes in the past few days.

On Tuesday, Patrick McDonagh, also three years old, was killed when he was struck by a bin lorry as he played outside his house on the Ballymacool estate on the outskirts of Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

The lorry was reversing at the time and the driver didn't see the child. The youngster had been playing with his twin sister at the time.

Irish Independent

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