Coroner David Cottrill has released his findings into the death of an Echuca toddler in 2010.June 17, 2014 3:01am
A coroner has released his findings into the death of an Echuca toddler who drowned in Gunbower Creek in 2010 and has found the boy was being well supervised at the time.
Coroner David Cottrill released his findings regarding the death of Joshua James Moore, 3, on Friday.
Mr Cottrill said while it was his role to establish the cause of death, it was not his job to apport blame.
He said, tragically, it was necessary for coroners to make recommendations regarding drowning deaths, in particular toddlers, who had no appreciation of danger.
The findings found that on October 1, 2010, Joshua’s mother Kerrie-Anne Michelle Falkingham was visited by friend Sandie Young and her son, also aged 3.
The mothers agreed that Ms Young would take Joshua for the night so the boys could be taken to Gunbower races the following day and use the jumping castle.
The findings stated Ms Young and her partner Brett Llewellyn lived on Dormoyle Rd, next to to Gunbower Creek.
On October 2, Joshua and Ms Young’s son woke before 9am and left the house via a back door.
The findings said it was likely that a plastic toy box was used by the children to stand on, to reach the door handle.
The pair took a small ride-on toy down to the creek and Joshua entered the creek near a pump shed.
He found himself out of depth and subsequently drowned, the findings stated.
An inquest into Joshua’s death was held in November 2012.
Although there was no formal diagnosis, Ms Falkingham said she believed Joshua may have suffered from an intellectual disability and did not believe he had any understanding of water danger.
She said his condition was not unlike autism.
The findings said while intellectual disabilities like autism were associated with an increased risk of drowning, it was not possible to conclude this was a contributing factor in Joshua’s death.
Mr Cottrill said he was satisfied that the two young boys were being well supervised and cared for.
He said Joshua’s death was preventable had there been an awareness of the potential for the children to head towards Gunbower Creek.
Mr Cottrill said in this instance the carers were sleeping and suggested it may have been appropriate to lock or alarm the back door.
The Coroners’ Prevention Unit Surveillance Database showed that from January 2000 to July 2012, four children drowned in rural creeks.
Mr Cottrill also outlined a study from 2002, Unintentional Drowning: Toddlers in Dams in Victoria 1989-2001 and a follow-up study in 2005, which highlighted toddlers to be unpredictable, oblivious to hazards, able to quickly and quietly disappear, often unable to swim and not prone to heeding warnings.
The report suggested keeping young children in a secure and interesting play area, to ensure they were always supervised, to cover or fence water hazards and for carers to learn first aid.
Mr Cottrill said the process of education was important and that the 2005 report should be continued, adopted and modified.
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
A sophisticated hydroponic cannabis system was discovered by police at the Victoria Hotel last week.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.