Child killed by falling tree branch in Bendigo

31 Dec, 2013 10:07 AM
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Bendigo council has cancelled its New Year’s Eve fireworks after a young girl was killed on Monday by a falling tree branch.

The incident happened in a park that was expected to be packed with hundreds of people for end-of-year festivities.

Police said the child, aged four, was fatally injured just after 5.20pm in Rosalind Park. The girl’s mother, 31, was seriously injured with a fractured leg, head injury and possible spinal injury and was taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition.

City of Greater Bendigo acting CEO Stan Liacos said the community was in shock, and offered condolences to the family.

Mr Liacos said the fireworks were cancelled out of respect for the Bendigo girl and her family, the Bendigo Advertiser reported.

“The decision has been made by the mayor with full support of management, to cancel the fireworks tonight,’’ he said.

The tree that struck the girl and her mother was inspected by senior City of Greater Bendigo arborists on September 19 and showed no outward signs of concern. It was removed from the park overnight.

“We did however make the decision to remove the tree – the balance of the tree was potentially compromised,’’ Mr Liacos said.

Mayor Barry Lyons said the accident was an absolute tragedy.“It’s a tragedy that just can’t be described with words,’’ he said.

“This morning greater Bendigo will be waking to this news and many will be shocked and saddened.’’

A witness told the Bendigo Advertiser how he heard ‘‘crack, crash,’’ before the limb fell.

The man, who was in the park with his wife and grandchildren, said no one would have had time to react as the tree branch fell. ‘‘It was just so quick, there was no time.’’

Bendigo Police Sergeant Damian Keegan said it was too early to say whether recent high winds and temperatures were responsible.

He said detectives were on scene assisting with the investigation and that people camping and walking in the bush should make sure they were aware of their surroundings.

‘‘Given this time of year and given our severe weather we’re having, the heat and the winds, if you do go camping it’s likely to happen along the rivers, and people should make sure they’re aware of their surrounds when they’re walking through bushland,” he said.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner and want any witnesses to come forward.

Read more at the Bendigo Advertiser

SMH

COMMENTS

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Doctor Barney as Deputy Prime Minister is a horror movie in 3D, but it is halloween.
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In some ways you have a point Freshy but not totally. You are right to say farmers need to
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Yeah, that's right, FFS, in the 15th floor penthouse. How nice of you to remember. Are you going