Boy, 8, died in ‘freak accident’ while cycling

A schoolboy died in a tragic freak accident after he sustained a fatal injury during a fall from his bike.

Roan Harrington, 8, from Ballydonegan, Allihies, West Cork, died as he cycled less than half a mile from his home on Aug 28, 2011. He was due to start second class the following day.

An inquest yesterday heard how one side of the handlebar pierced his liver in “exactly the wrong spot”.

Roan and his two older brothers, Euan, 12, and Oran, 10, had brought their dogs for a run when the accident happened shortly after 4.30pm.

In a statement, his brother Euan told how they were cycling at normal speed and then stopped at a bridge when they noticed Roan was missing.

Julie Cooper, who has a holiday home in Allihies, found Roan lying “entangled in a bike” on the road.

He told her “I’ve fallen off my bike”, before lifting his shirt to show his injury. An ambulance was called but he was pronounced dead en route to Bantry Hospital.

Sergeant Fachtna O’Donovan described the incident as “very tragic, freak accident”.

“It looks as if he fell on top of the handlebar on his bike, there was a mark on his chest but the skin wasn’t broken it was just a mark,” he said.

Assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said the cause of death was bleeding due to a laceration of the liver due to blunt force trauma sustained in a bicycle accident.

“It hit at the exact wrong spot, just under the breastbone and pinned the liver to the back bone,” she said.

Returning a verdict of accidental death, coroner Frank O’Connell said the case was one of the “saddest he had come across”.


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