Child's death devastates entire community

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: West Coast

The community of Camberley is in grief after four-year-old Uetaha Dahtanian Ransfield Wanoa was swept under a Council lawn mower and killed in Hastings last night. 

The young boys parents revealed his name and spoke with Te Kāea reporter Aroha Treacher but due to the devastation their family has endured were not willing to speak on camera.

Flowers mark the scene of sorrow today, as friends gathered there to pay their respects.

Their friend and relative,  four-year-old Uetaha was killed last night, after he was swept under a council lawn mower and became entrapped in the spinning blades.

At the scene, emotions of family members ran high as they came to terms with the reality of what happened.

The childs  body will be returned to the family later tonight from the coroner, and the family have requested privacy while they grieve.

The driver has worked for the council for 13-years and is on leave until further notice with full pay. Although the machinery was new, the Mayor is confident the driver was trained correctly.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule says the council worker was the most senior driver they had, he says “he had a new tractor, he was very experienced and now he's absolutely devastated.”

The Mayor has offered to contribute to some of the funeral expenses and says it will take a long time for the community to overcome this tragic event.

It's an incident that has deeply upset the family and wider community including police, who have the Serious Crash Unit investigating alongside the council and Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.