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Burnley toddler dies in TV crush horror
A TODDLER was killed after a TV fell on his head while he looked for his favourite toy ball, an inquest heard.
McKenzie James Birkett-Waddington was just 22 months old when he suffered serious head injuries after the ‘dreadful accident’.
He was the second child to die from being crushed by a TV in Burnley in the last two years.
McKenzie’s mum, Jade, sobbed as East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor read out a statement she gave to police in February that detailed the accident.
She said the youngster had pulled the bottom drawer of a chest of drawers to retrieve a ball while she changed his younger brother, Kian.
The accident happened in the upstairs bedroom of her home in Hollingreave Road, Burnley Wood, on January 7 this year.
The inquest heard that McKenzie, who had another older brother, Mason, now five, was a ‘very lively, healthy and inquisitive lad who was into everything’.
Miss Birkett and her three children had only lived at the mid-terraced house for three weeks.
She said McKenzie, who could walk from the age of 16 months, normally slept in a Moses basket at the foot of her bed, while the TV rested on a chest of drawers opposite.
The chest of drawers, described as ‘straightforward and simple’ was pushed up against the wall and, although not attached to anything, was in a ‘firm, stable’ condition and had been used as a TV stand at the family’s previous house with no problems.
Miss Birkett said that at around 9.30am she and McKenzie woke up and went downstairs until Kian, then six-months-old, was awake.
When Kian woke up, Miss Birkett went into his bedroom to change him, while McKenzie played near his Moses basket in her bedroom within sight of his mother.
When he pulled on the chest of drawers to fetch his toy ball, Miss Birkett said: “Before I could do anything the chest of drawers tipped forward and the TV fell.
“The drawers didn’t fall, they just rocked. It happened so quickly, I had no time to react.”
The mother-of-three then ran to McKenzie’s aid, lifted the ‘old-style, bulky’ TV off his head and rang 999.
McKenzie, who was days away from starting pre-nursery school, was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital but was quickly airlifted to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
He underwent emergency neurosurgery after CT scans showed heavy swelling to his brain, but suffered a cardiac arrest shortly after and could not be revived.
Dr Charlie Wilson, a Home Office pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination on the toddler, gave the medical cause of death as head injuries.
In reaching a conclusion of accidental death, Mr Taylor said: “It is quite apparent to me that this was an unforeseen, dreadful accident.”
- In December 2011, four-month-old Kian McMillan died from catastrophic head injuries he suffered when his mother knocked a TV onto his head at a house in Scarlett Street, Burnley.
Natalie McMillan, 25, was jailed for 15 months after she admitted neglect but was cleared of manslaughter.
Her partner, Edward Hanratty, 41, who had passed out through drink and drugs on a kitchen floor while the incident happened, also pleaded guilty to child neglect and was jailed for 10 months.
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