Saturday 14 December 2019

Toddler's Pizza Hut choking death 'a tragic accident' - inquest

Jacob Jenkins has died after choking on a grape Photo: Facebook
Jacob Jenkins has died after choking on a grape Photo: Facebook

Tom Wilkinson

Staff, customers, paramedics and the parents of a two-year-old boy tried desperately to save him after he choked on a grape in a Pizza Hut, an inquest has heard.

Jacob Jenkins had asked his parents to take him for a pizza in Hartlepool and was snacking on fruit from the salad bar when a grape got stuck.

After frantic attempts were made to dislodge the grape, he was taken to hospital in Middlesbrough and then transferred to the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle, where he died in October.

Newcastle Coroner Karen Dilks concluded that his death was accidental.

She said: "Jacob, who was two years old went with his family on what was intended to be a social occasion.

"Tragically, a completely unexpected and unintended event occurred.

"That was that Jacob, eating grapes that no-one considered any risk, then choked on one of those grapes and that led to a chain of events that tragically starved Jacob's brain of oxygen and that was the reason why he died.

"I can reach no other conclusion that this was in every sense a tragic accident.

"My conclusion therefore is one of accidental death."

She said the tragedy served as a warning about the "unexpected risks" of small children eating grapes.

She sent her condolences to Jacob's parents, who were not at the hearing at Newcastle's Civic Centre.

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