Girl, 2, died after falling into duck pond at grandparents' home
A two-year-old girl lost her life after falling into a pond at her grandparent’s home in a ‘tragic and devastating’ accident, an inquest heard.
Violet Knox was playing with another child outside the cottage in Beck Row, Suffolk when her granddad Andrew Peck lost sight of them both.
He realised his granddaughter was missing when only the other child returned to the house and the family immediately began searching for her.
Grandma Angie Knox screamed ‘she’s here’, as she found Violet lying face down in the chilly 20 inch deep water of the pond, Suffolk Coroner’s Court heard.
The inquest was told how Violet was afraid of water and did not usually go near it, but the area may have been slippy due to recent rain.
The toddler’s mum, Katie Knox, 30, who is trained in first aid, desperately tried to revive her by doing chest compressions.
Paramedics, an air ambulance crew and doctors continued resuscitation attempts for two hours before she was pronounced dead at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds.
Her cause of death was recorded as cold water immersion, with Violet going into cardiac arrest soon after falling into the pond.
Senior coroner Nigel Parsley said this is also known as dry drowning and would have happened with ‘that first breath in of very cold water’.
In a statement, Mr Peck, 50, said Violet has returned to his home with other family members after they went out for a pub lunch on February 23.
He said she came outside with him to help him put some wood away which he had been cutting, before she and the other child started playing with a broken tent and jumping on a trampoline.
A short while later he spotted the other child was alone, and went inside to check on Violet, thinking she might be in the bath.
Family members immediately rushed into different parts of the garden and Mr Peck heard his wife scream after she found Violet in the pond.
In a statement, Mrs Peck said: ‘I saw Violet’s dress floating in the pond and I thought, “What is her dress doing there?” As I got closer, I could see her head slightly underwater and screamed for help.’
Her husband pulled Violet out of the water and her daughter started trying to revive her.
Mrs Peck added that she and the other children had always been told to stay away from the pond.
She added: ‘She had never been interested in the ducks and geese around the garden although she loved our puppy.’
In a statement, Mrs Knox’s sister Amy Peck, 26, said: ‘Violet never normally went near the pond, but I remember it was very slippery due to recent rain.’
Consultant paediatrician Ian Evans said Violet’s mum and her husband Thomas were ‘distraught’ at the hospital as attempts continued to try and resuscitate the toddler.
Describing the death as a ‘a tragic and devastating accident’, Suffolk Police detective inspector Claire Baldwin said the force’s ‘investigation is now closed’.
Mrs Knox said: ‘Violet was a beautiful, loving little girl who loved to dance to any music, even stopping to dance outside shops if she heard tracks.
‘She loved Peppa Pig and Shaun the Sheep, and loved running up and down with her dolls’ pram. She had a smile and a wave for everybody.’
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, the coroner said this was a ‘particularly tragic case’.
After the hearing, Mrs Peck said: ‘The NHS went above and beyond, and so did the air ambulance crew. I really want to praise them.’
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