Tuesday 20 February 2018

Jake asked, 'Mammy can I play for another few minutes?' I heard a bang and saw my baby go up in the air

Mother tells how son (6) died in her arms after being hit by car

Roseann and Christopher, parents of Jake (inset), at the scene of the accident
Roseann and Christopher, parents of Jake (inset), at the scene of the accident
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A six-year-old boy ran to his mother after a road accident and told her: "Mammy I don't want to die," before collapsing on the road.

Senior infants pupil Jake Brennan found the strength to run to his mother's arms after being hit by a car while playing in his Kilkenny housing estate.

His devastated mother Roseann said she had allowed him an extra five minutes' playing in the sunshine in Lintown Grove just before the accident on Thursday.

She told the Irish Independent about the terrible moments just after her son was hit by the car. "I was going to say, 'no, we'll go get you cleaned,' but I said, 'Okay another few minutes'," she said.

"He got back up and he ran to me, I don't know how, and he ran into my arms and it was like he thought he was in trouble.

"He said, 'I'm sorry' and I was saying 'it's not your fault, its not your fault baby'."

Fighting back tears, she added: "Then I could see he relaxed a bit, but you could see the pain.

"I ran and a woman took the baby from me and he was looking for me. I hugged him and hugged him and I said 'you're okay, you're okay'.

"He said to me, 'mammy I don't want to die,' and I said 'you're not going to die'.

"I could see his little eyes and they were gone. I kept feeling his little belly and there was nothing," she said.

Emergency services were called to the scene and worked on the youngster for around an hour, but he could not be revived.

Paramedics at the scene said that there was a pulse.

His mother said: "He was gone, he had the same look in the morgue, he was gone outside".

Jake was taken to St Luke's Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later. A post-mortem examination was due to take place.

Ms Brennan spoke about how her children usually didn't play in front of the home in the family estate.

But she said that on Thursday they had come back from the town and Jake was keen to play on the green area.

"He said 'mammy can I play for another few minutes', because he was in Jesters, a little theatre show last night', and I said play for a few minutes.

"I was going to say, 'no, we'll go get you cleaned', but I said 'okay, another few minutes'.

"He said 'thanks' and 'can I go back over to the green?' and I said yes."

Ms Brennan was holding Jake's four-month-old sister Savannah at the time of the collision.

"I just heard a bang, I heard something quick and then bang.

"I looked up and I saw my baby go up in the air; he went up and he hit the bonnet and went under," she said.

Ms Brennan and Jake's father Christopher were yesterday struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

"I loved him so much, I'm not going to be able to live without him, he was my life," she said.

Ms Brennan said that her son had a keen interest in drama and had recently taken up skateboarding.

"He asked me the other day if I could get him a little skateboard track to go out the back.

"I didn't know what he meant, but Chris said you could get those little ones and I said we'd look into it.

"He was a mammy's boy, the night before he wanted me to carry him up to bed like a baby," she said.

"He had a little show in the theatre last night, he has his costume up there to put on.

"He loved people to like him.

"I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows older. I'm a childcare worker, and he said last week, 'I want to work with kids like mammy'.

"He loved me, and I loved him so much," she said.

Jake had two siblings, four-month-old sister Savannah and three-year-old brother Kaelen.

Yesterday the family gathered at the spot of the crash to leave flowers and teddies in tribute to the boy, a pupil in Presentation National School.

His teachers were said to be distraught about his death.

The driver of the car, a woman in her 40s, was not injured in the collision.

Gardai in Kilkenny have appealed for anyone with information to contact Kilkenny garda station on 05 6777 5000, the confidential line on 18 0066 6111 or any garda station.

Irish Independent

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