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AESIF News - Electric gate kills boy aged nine

Electric gate kills boy aged nine - 02 March 2007

Easter eggs and floral tributes poignantly decorated the scene yesterday.

Floral tributes beside the gate that killed boy aged nine

Horror as mum takes him to visit grandma
By Richard Smith

A BOY aged nine was horrifically killed in front of his mum and sister when his skull was crushed by electric gates. Jason Keet leapt from his mother's car outside his grandparents' home and squeezed his head in a 6in gap at the side of the barriers to reach the open switch. But he became trapped when the 7ft wrought iron gates began to swing open, crushing him against the gatepost. Mum Samantha and a resident at the luxury block of flats rushed to help but could not free him as the gate continued to open. Another resident, Beryl Lock, 72, said yesterday: "I was in the bath when I heard a woman outside shouting, 'Help, help!' "I got out and went to the window in the study which overlooks the gates and saw the lad trapped in the gates.

His family were trying to help him. It was just horrible.

"He wasn't screaming and had already gone quiet."
Easter eggs and floral tributes poignantly decorated the scene yesterday.
The most heart-rending - from nurse Samantha, in her mid-30s, and partner David Whittle - read: "Now you will always be our baby. We love you. Mummy & Davey." Another message read: "Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze, our cherished thoughts of you. "Love & cuddles, Aunty Yve and Uncle Mike."
Jason and sister Rhiannon, 12 - who live with their mum and Mr Whittle in Bournemouth - were going to see grandparents Marion and Stephen Culling Family friends said Samantha asked her son to alert his grandparents on the intercom but he said he knew how to use the gate release button. Yesterday Mr Culling, of Poole, Dorset, said the family was too distressed to talk.

But Mrs Lock's husband Christopher, 75, said: "The family were absolutely distraught and the grandparents, who are lovely people, are finding this very difficult to come to terms with. What makes this especially chilling is that just a week previously our 13-year-old granddaughter did exactly the same thing. "There are a lot of flats in this area with similar gates and it makes you think something like this might happen again."
An inquest into the April 13 tragedy was opened on Tuesday and adjourned. The Poole coroner's office revealed the youngster died from a cardiac arrest due to a head injury. A spokesman confirmed Jason appeared to have opened the gates in similar fashion before and said: "It looks like this was a procedure that had been carried out in the past."

The Health and Safety Executive has launched an inquiry. A spokeswoman said: "We're assisting police by providing an inspector to look at the gate to see if it was operating properly.

"Our findings will go to the police, who will decide whether they want to pursue it or not." Police stressed it was not a criminal probe. The gate was left open yesterday, with a note from the company that runs the flats warning it should not be shut.

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