A HEARTBROKEN couple have described their devastation at losing their four-year old "angel" son in a freak accident at their home.
Little Nico Price was tragically killed when the wheel of a lorry fell on him at his father Neil's breaker's yard at the rear of their rented cottage in Burnfoot, Donegal last Friday night.
He had been playing with his older brother Anthony (6) when the accident happened at around 7.30pm.
"We don't really know what happened, it was all so sudden," his mother Wendy said yesterday. "Anthony was playing with Nico and he saw it all happen. Those two were never apart. When I found Nico, he was slumped over."
"The kids are not allowed in the yard during the day, but work was finished for the evening," she said.
Wendy and husband Neil have 11 children and are originally from England. Nico's sister Patsy (18) said that everyone would miss her little brother.
"He was a little angel. He didn't deserve to go. He made everybody laugh because he was such a copycat and would always mock and mimic you, but he wouldn't hurt anybody," she said.
The circumstances surrounding the tragedy are being investigated by gardai and the Health and Safety Authority. Initial accounts suggest the child was sitting on the wheel when it or another wheel fell on him.
Nico was rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry but died a short time later. A post mortem examination was conducted in Belfast on Saturday morning before the child's remains were removed to the family home that afternoon. Nico was the youngest in the family.
The family moved to the area around nine months ago and had become popular with the locals.
Mr Price runs his motor business, West Yorkshire Direct Imports, from the rear of 'Riverside Cottage', a small rented bungalow next door to the village post office.
Inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority examined the scene of the accident on Saturday afternoon and a spokesperson confirmed that an investigation is under way. Meanwhile, a senior garda source said all the circumstances surrounding the incident were being investigated by gardai at Burnfoot and Buncrana.
The Price family opted for a traditional Irish wake and were being comforted yesterday at their home by neighbours, friends and relatives who continued to arrive from Britain throughout the day.
Arrangements for the child's funeral service were still being finalised last night.