Girl, two, crushed to death when television fell on top of her, inquest told

First published in News

A TWO-year-old girl was crushed to death by a TV when she pulled it down on top of herself, an inquest heard.

The old-style heavy cathode set was on a stand bought from Argos when it toppled as Lucy Lyle is thought to have been playing with the handles and pulled one of the drawers out.

Lucy, aged 23 months, and older sister Amina were in their beds when tragedy struck at their farm cottage in Malton, North Yorkshire.

She died minutes later in her mother Katherine's arms - despite her desperate attempts to revive her with the kiss of life and heart massage.

Mrs Lyle, 27, told the inquest in Scarborough yesterday (TUESDAY) she had gone downstairs to "watch something else apart from CBeebies".

She continued: "I had just settled down and started watching TV when it happened.

"I heard a very loud bang. As soon as I heard it I ran upstairs and turned the light on.

"Amina was in bed, sitting up and looking around. The telly was on the floor and the TV unit had been knocked over."

The two-drawer, two-cupboard unit had been purchased from Argos and usually took two people to lift it, she said.

Mrs Lyle said: "That's when I noticed I could not see Lucy - and that's when I started screaming.

"I ran into the room and saw blood on the telly. I lifted the TV off Lucy. She was on her back but her head was towards the set.

"I pulled the TV off her and laid her on her side in the recovery position. I dialled 999 and started CPR."

She told the hearing the ambulance took 27 minutes to arrive at Fairfield Cottage, High Field Farm, Norton.

She added: "She died while I was doing CPR.

"The unit was a dedicated TV unit. I could barely lift it.

"The only thing I can think of is she has pulled one of the drawers and - as she has pulled back - it has toppled."

Husband Peter Lyle, 39, was out with a friend, Kieran Hunter. She rang Mr Hunter because she felt he was more likely to answer.

He said he thought Mrs Lyle was joking when he told him "Lucy has gone".

He added: "I said 'What do you mean she has gone you nutter?'.

"She repeated a few times Lucy had gone and that's when it clicked something was not right and I said to Peter 'Come on. We are going home.'"

Minutes later, Mr Lyle got back to find the emergency services there.

A post-mortem showed Lucy had died from a blunt head injury in the accident on October 25.

There was a right-side skull fracture across the base of her skull and she would have lost consciousness immediately, dying shortly after.

Recording an accident verdict, Coroner Michael Oakley said: "It's apparent from the evidence Lucy had been put to bed in the normal way.

"There was nothing untoward at all about that evening.

"It was only later that evening before they had gone to sleep her mother heard a loud bang and when she went upstairs she found the TV had clearly been manoeuvred in some way by Lucy and had fallen on her.

"This was the result of a very tragic accident."

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said: “The most normal household objects such as televisions can be a risk to children because these objects can easily topple on top of them.

“Children are inquisitive and also watch and copy. It is important to make sure that there is nothing around televisions that young children can climb on to.

"We encourage parents to look at their furniture from a child’s point of view - something that is not particularly exciting to adults can be exciting to a young child - and supervision, keeping a close eye on young children, is also important.

“Many households may still have old-style televisions, and it is best to take special care if you have one of these in your home.

“Those with flat-screen televisions should bear in mind that these could also topple down on to a child, and our advice is to ensure that they are secured to the base on which they stand or tethered to the wall behind.”

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