AN EIGHT-year-old girl who was killed instantly in a freak farm accident did not suffer any pain and would have died instantaneously after she suffered blunt force trauma to her upper spine when a heavy weight from a tractor toppled onto her.
A Cork coroner’s inquest heard that the freak accident occurred on September 28 last as Paula Dinsberga (8), whose parents are Limerick-based Latvian nationals, was playing with her friend, Kerija Pliesnanis.
The accident occurred at
a farm at Rusheen, Newtownshandrum, near Charleville
in north Cork. Both girls had been out playing when, around 6pm, the accident occurred as a tractor was being driven past them.
North Cork Coroner Dr Michael Kennedy was told by Garda Cathal O’Regan that they were informed an accident had occurred at Rusheen at 6.50pm.
Gardai raced to the scene together with an ambulance crew.
However, Mallow GP Dr Aidan Kelleher pronounced Paula dead at the scene before she could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
The little girl was identified to gardai by Edgar Pliesnanis, the father of her friend, Kerija.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said she conducted a post-mortem
examination at CUH on September 29.
She found that the little girl had died from blunt force trauma to the upper spinal cord due to a heavy weight falling on her from a tractor.
“It would have been absolutely instantaneous death. She would have felt no pain at all,” Dr Bolster said.
Dr Kennedy said that, given the evidence, a death certificate could be issued to Paula’s parents, Raivo and Linda Dinsberga.
On the application of Supt Pat McCarthy, Dr Kennedy agreed to adjourn the inquest under Section 25 of the Coroner’s Act, 1962 given that both garda and Health and Safety Authority (HSA) investigations remain ongoing.
The inquest will be resumed in mid 2015.
He extended his sympathy to Paula’s mother, Linda, who attended the brief inquest accompanied by a friend and a garda liaison officer.
She did not speak during the hearing but sobbed during the medical evidence.
Shortly after the tragedy, Linda paid a moving tribute to her daughter.
“She was bright, she was so smart, and she had loads of friends. She was so beautiful,” she said.
“We have three more children. Paula was the oldest. We have two boys and a smaller girl.”
The couple were flying back from a family function in their native Latvia when gardai met them at Dublin Airport to inform them about the tragedy.
Linda said the family just “could not believe it” when they got off the plane from Latvia at Dublin Airport only to be met by Mallow gardai.
The family were told by Supt McCarthy that it may be some time before the garda and HSA probes are concluded.