HomeWorld NewsBrit toddler, 3, killed when dad fell on her in ‘tragic accident’ as they played on park roundabout
Brit toddler, 3, killed when dad fell on her in ‘tragic accident’ as they played on park roundabout
A TODDLER was killed when her dad fell on top of her in a “tragic accident” as they played on a park roundabout.
Amberlie Pennington-Foley, a three-year-old British girl, was playing on the playground at the park near her house in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, on August 27, 2020, when the tragedy occurred.
The three-year-old’s father, Robert Foley, was trying to jump off a piece of playground equipment called the Supernova when he lost his balance, fell, and landed on top of her, the New Zealand Herald reported.
A coroner’s report has now revealed that the toddler suffered severe head and neck injuries and a brain and spinal cord injury as a result of the impact.
Realising his daughter was hurt, Foley rushed Amberlie back to the car and drove her to the local medical centre, where staff called an ambulance and attempted resuscitation efforts.
However, Amberlie was not showing any signs of life and could not be revived.
The Supernova is a large wheel which sits just above the ground, and is spun by either running on it like a hamster wheel or using one’s hands.
According to the coroner’s report, Amberlie was sitting on the highest part of the ring, while her dad stood on the other side, gently moving the wheel by stepping to the right, then to the left.
"After repeating this sequence of sideways steps one way and then the other a few times, Mr Foley started to lose his balance," coroner Peter Ryan wrote.
As Foley attempted to jump off the Supernova, the wheel rotated and he fell. Due to the ring having rotated, Amberlie was now close to him, and Foley’s full weight landed on his daughter.
"When Mr Foley got up from the ground, he saw Amberlie get off the seating platform. She was standing, but was very wobbly,” the coroner’s report read.
Seeing blood around his daughter's nose and on her top, Foley knew she was hurt, so carried her to the car and drove her to a nearby medical clinic, which was about a three-minute drive.
The little girl was said to be pale and silent upon arrival at the clinic, which prompted staff to immediately call for an ambulance.
Despite attempts to resuscitate Amberlie, she could not be saved.
The coroner said the toddler’s death was not because of any fault or defect of the equipment itself, nor was there any evidence her father had been operating the equipment in a dangerous or reckless manner.
"Amberlie's death was a tragic accident in the true sense of the word.” Ryan said.
"I would not be surprised to learn that many other parents had previously operated the Supernova in a similar manner without serious incident.
"It would have been difficult to foresee that such harm could come to Amberlie while playing on this piece of equipment."
After considering the situation in which the accident occurred, and Amberlie’s death, Ryan did not have any recommendations or comments to make.
Amberlie's parents moved to New Zealand nine years ago to start a new life for themselves, they had previously told the media.
Mum Emma Pennington-Foley last year told Stuff : “The whole Upper Hutt community is grieving the loss of our baby right here with us and it’s clear to see that Amberlie has brought our already strong community closer together.
"She has really touched the lives of so many.
“The love and support of everybody around us – and indeed the world – has literally got us through the last few days. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The heartbroken mum also spoke of how she and Amberlie's dad, Rob, had faced the cost of getting relatives to New Zealand from the UK amid Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Four close family members were allowed to travel to New Zealand to support the family, which includes Amberlie’s baby brother Theo.