Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Fersfield: Farmyard tragedy was ‘avoidable’ - rules inquest

18:04 21 February 2013

Norfolk coroner, William Armstrong

Norfolk coroner, William Armstrong

Archant

THE death of a toddler in a farmyard accident was a tragedy which could have been avoided, a coroner said.

shares

Twenty-two-month-old Edward Criddle was crushed when a farm worker’s van drove over him as he played at his grandparents’ farm near Kenninghall.

Coroner William Armstrong expressed sympathy to the youngster’s parents, Richard and Lucy, but said Edward should not have been let out of sight while his father worked at Fersfield Lodge Farm, Fersfield.

“Farmyards are places of work, they are potentially dangerous: they are not playgrounds, or places of leisure or recreation,” he said, “Edward should have been under direct and constant supervision.”

He said it was a “painful” conclusion to reach, but he had a duty to promote public safety and agreed with the Health and Safety Executive’s assessment that the tragedy, on November 22, could have been avoided.

A jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

In a statement, Mr Criddle, of Wash Farm, explained the impact the child’s death had had on him, his wife and his three-year-old son, also called Richard. “The events of that day have left my family devastated. Edward was a bright and happy little boy who had his whole life ahead of him,” he said. “Lucy, Richard and I miss him deeply, and he will always be a part of our lives.”

Edward had been playing in the cattle shed while his father tended them when farmworker Kelvin Sutton parked in front of the doors at around 4pm. After a discussion, Mr Sutton – who had worked on the farm for more than 40 years and was known to the boys as Uncle Jacko – reversed to allow Mr Criddle to get his tractor out, then pulled forward.

Mr Criddle noticed Edward was no longer in the shed, but said he thought he was with his grandmother.

Mr Sutton said: “As I pulled forward I felt the rear right wheel ride over something. I thought to myself ‘There’s nothing in the yard to ride over’. I stopped straightaway and I could see Edward lying behind me in a puddle of water.”

Police investigators said Edward may have been knocked over when Mr Sutton reversed, or could have slipped in the puddle. He died from serious head injuries.

Mr Armstrong said Edward’s death could not be blamed on Mr Sutton, and offered his condolences to the family, saying: “I know you will have some happy and wonderful memories of this bright and bubbly little boy, which I hope can sustain you.”

Related articles

shares

0 comments

Artist's impression of The Wonderhouse in Colchester

A heritage centre project expected to showcase artefacts from the history of Britain’s oldest recorded town will not be going ahead as planned after representatives decided not to pursue further funding to complete the concept.

Air Training Cadets corps parading through Felixstowe to mark 75th anniversary of the movement

A number of air training cadets paraded through two Suffolk towns today to mark 75 years of the movement.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

A man fell critically ill in a Suffolk forest this morning.

Annie Munson of Bury St Edmunds' Women's Aid refuge centre

For women suffering the cruelty of domestic abuse, Christmas can be anything but a time of goodwill.

Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Constable of Essex Police.

A candidate for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner role has questioned the ‘high’ salary paid to the chief constable of Essex Police.

Police are attempting to trace the driver of a blue Audi to establish their involvement in a road traffic collision that took place on the A120.

Klaudia Sokolowska was last seen at her home address in Unicorn Place, Bury St Edmunds, shortly before 4.30pm on Friday and has not been seen since.

A 15-year-old girl from Bury St Edmunds has gone missing.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24