Toddler death a case of ‘wrong place at the wrong time’

Coroner told child fatality due to crush injuries after walking behind reversing tractor

An 18-month-old boy who died from crush injuries after walking behind a tractor that his father was reversing was the victim in a most unfortunate case, an inquest was told on Tuesday.

Coroner Frank O'Connell told Cork Coroners Court that Conor Cashman's son Fionn had been in the "wrong place at the wrong time".

Mr Cashman was moving bales between farm sheds at Drominane, Killeagh, at lunchtime on May 8th, 2014, when the incident occurred.

In a statement read out to the court, Mr Cashman said he approached an upper shed at an acute angle to drop a heavy bale. The tractor was revving very high and Mr Cashman dropped the bale and reversed the tractor away from the door, the court heard.

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Dead at scene

“Fionn must have been behind the left wheel of the tractor. I never saw him. Then I saw Fionn lying on the ground motionless. I jumped out and I could see he was badly injured. I had felt nothing on the tractor. No bump . . . no impact.”

Despite efforts to revive him Fionn was pronounced dead at the scene.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said Fionn would not have suffered as his death was instant. She carried out the postmortem on the youngster and said he died from a severe traumatic brain injury incurred in a low-speed vehicle run-over.

The coroner extended his sympathy to Conor and Deirdre Cashman on the loss of their "beloved" youngest son.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded in the case.