8 Mar 2017

Girl's death golf club death a 'tragic accident'

8:47 am on 8 March 2017

A coroner has found that the death of a 3-year-old girl was a "tragic accident" that happened while playing with her 7-year-old brother in the backyard.

Christchurch Junior Doctors Strike

The girl was taken to Christchurch hospital. Photo: RNZ / Andrew Collins

Forensic Pathologist Dr Martin Sage carried out a post mortem on 22 November 2015, two days after the girl's death.

He found that the girl, who cannot be named, died after being hit on the left side of her head. The impact lacerated a vertebral artery that supplies blood to the upper spinal cord and brain.

The girl's brother told police that he was playing with his sister and told her to go away before he swung a child's size golf club.

He told police he missed the ball but saw his sister was on the ground so he ran to his dad to tell him what happened.

Coroner Marcus Elliott's report said neighbours, including a trained nurse, came to help.

The nurse told police they could not detect a pulse. The girl was not breathing, her pupils were fixed and dilated and her lips were blue. She was not responsive to any attempts to stimulate her.

The girl was taken to Christchurch Hospital and admitted at 5.14pm.

After undergoing CPR and a CT scan, she died at 6.30pm with her parents at her side.

Coroner Elliott spoke to the brother in the report, reinforcing that it was an accident, and that accidental injuries are rife.