Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Girl dies after father drops TV on her head

A four-year-old girl died after her father accidentally dropped a television on her head as he carried it downstairs, an inquest heard. Emily May Hughes died on Christmas Day after suffering "a catastrophic brain injury" in what the coroner called a "tragic accident".

An accidental death verdict was recorded at the inquest in Liverpool. Her parents Robert and Louise Hughes, of Coedpoeth, Wrexham, paid tribute to their "bright, clever girl".

Coroner Andre Rebello described the accident as "every parent's worst nightmare". The inquest was told the family had bought a new TV on Christmas Eve - a day in which they went shopping and visited friends.

Mr Hughes installed it in the first-floor living room then carried the old "heavy, deep, bulky" widescreen television downstairs into the children's play area. Emily, who was the youngest of four children, liked to take the Nintendo DS she shared with her siblings to a quiet place to play it alone. But unbeknown to Mr Hughes as he struggled downstairs, she was lying on her stomach at the foot of the stairs.

In a report by North Wales Police, officers told the inquest Mr Hughes accidentally bumped into her, dropping the television and pinning her head down. "He completely lost balance, fell and tried to push the TV away from the child realising she was there but it landed on her head, pinning her. He immediately got it off her."

Consultant Dr Jane Ratcliffe said Emily sustained a head fracture in the accident, and the brain damage stopped her pulse and blood pressure. Coroner Andre Rebello recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest. Mr Rebello said: "This was a tragic accident and this will always be a difficult time in the future with every Christmas.

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