• Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

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Boy, 4, killed instantly when a concrete post collapsed on top of him

Dec 5, 2022

A four-year-old boy was killed instantly when a heavy garden post collapsed on top of him, an inquest heard.

 

Leopold Mercer was swinging on an iron gate in his garden with a friend after football training when tragedy struck at their home in Hanbury, Worcestershire on September 18.

 

His parents, university professors Eva Frickel and Jason Mercer, heard the other child scream their son’s name and they instantly knew something was wrong, Worcestershire Coroner’s Court was told.

 

The couple tried to resuscitate Leopold before emergency crews arrived.

 

After 42 minutes of CPR, West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedics and Midlands Air Ambulance doctors declared Leopold dead at the scene.

 

A post-mortem examination found Leopold died due to a traumatic head and neck injury.

 

Dr Frickel described to the court how she’d just driven the two boys back from Sunday football training when they got out of the car and were hanging on an iron gate next to the driveway.

 

Boy, 4, killed instantly when a concrete post collapsed on top of him

 

Moments later, a concrete post fell on top of the toddler’s head at 11:48am.

 

Dr Frickel said: “Leopold had only been at school a couple of weeks and was a happy, outgoing little boy. On the driveway, there is a run of pillars in a half circle and one pillar has a garden gate attached to it.

 

“The boys got out of the car and went over to play. I’d just moved the car onto the grass when I heard the other child scream ‘Leo’ and could tell from the sound of it that something was wrong.

 

“I ran round and saw him under the pillar that had fallen. It was so heavy, I wasn’t able to move it.”

 

Dr Frickel recalled how Leopold’s dad ran from the house and struggled to lift the pillar off his son before starting CPR while she dialled 999.

 

Boy, 4, killed instantly when a concrete post collapsed on top of him

 

She told the hearing on December 1: “It wasn’t long until I heard a helicopter and sirens but everything from then on is pretty blurred.”

 

The other child suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital to be checked.

 

Dr Frickel, a scientist, wrote on Twitter that her heart would be “forever broken”.

 

She said: “I’m hoping we can find a path forward as a family in Leo’s ‘always smiling’ spirit. And I’m hoping to create positive impact for us, our and Leo’s friends and maybe one day even further afield.

 

“I am still a scientist in my head, but my heart is forever broken. Child loss grief takes a permanent place in your life.

 

“Life is unfair. You cannot be sure you will live tomorrow.”