A three-year-old British girl died when her father accidentally fell on her as she tried to jump from a roundabout at a playground in New Zealand
- Three-year-old Amberlie Penninton-Foley died last year near Wellington, New Zealand
- He was playing with Father Robert on some kind of roundabout when he fell
- The girl fell under him as he fell and he landed on top of her with all his weight
- The coroner this week deemed the death a “strange accident” and sent condolences to the family
A British girl died in a freak accident when her father fell off a play equipment and landed on her in New Zealand.
Three-year-old Amberlie Pennington-Foley died of brain and spinal cord injuries following her accident in a park in Upper Hutt, a town near Wellington, on August 27 last year.
The girl was playing with dad Robert – who moved from the UK to New Zealand with his wife Emma in 2011 – in a park around 10am when the tragedy occurred.
A coroner’s report released this week claimed the couple were playing on a piece of equipment known as the Supernova Ring – a rotating plastic ring suspended from the ground – when the crash occurred.
Amberlie Pennington-Foley, three, died in August last year after Father Robert fell on her while the couple were playing in a park in New Zealand.
The couple were playing on a piece of equipment known as the Supernova Ring which is suspended from the ground and rotates as people run over it or push it (file image)
Robert was standing on one side of the ring near the ground while Amberlie was sitting on the other side of the ring which was raised higher.
The report says that Robert started walking from side to side, gently spinning the disc which moved Amberlie towards him and away from him.
“After repeating this sequence of side steps in one direction and then the other a few times, Mr. Foley began to lose his balance,” the report said.
He tried to jump off the ring, but this caused him to suddenly spin, shifting Amberlie towards him as he fell.
When he fell, he landed with all his weight on his daughter’s head and neck, the coroner said.
Amberlie initially survived the impact, but was later noticeably “wobbly” on her feet, the report said.
Robert noticed that she had blood around her nose and top and decided to take her to a medical clinic three minutes away by car, believing it would be quicker than calling an ambulance.
When he arrived, Amberlie was pale and numb. The clinic staff immediately called an ambulance, but the doctors were unable to resuscitate the girl.
Coroner Peter Ryan concluded that the girl’s death was not due to a defect in the equipment or negligence on the part of her father.
‘[Her] death was a tragic accident in the truest sense of the word, ‘he wrote.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that many other parents had previously used the Supernova in a similar way without serious accidents.”
Mother Emma Penninton-Foley is pictured with Amberlie as a child
Amberlie died of head and neck injuries, wrote a medical examiner this week, as she deemed the death a “freak accident” and sent condolences to the family.
Ryan concluded by saying that he had no recommendations to make after his death and simply wished to send condolences to the family.
At the time of death, Amberlie’s mother, Emma, said the entire city had been devastated by what she called “sudden death”.
The family had asked for donations to help bring a relative to New Zealand from the UK for the funeral.
“Words alone will never be enough to convey our heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated or delivered food and flowers to us,” he told Stuff at the time.
“The love and support of all those around us – and indeed the world – have literally pushed us through the last days. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. ‘
Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy said his thoughts and prayers are with family.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn the news of a child who died today following a tragic accident at Harcourt Park,” he said.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with family. We will do everything possible to assist the relevant authorities in their investigations. ‘