Belfast Telegraph

Aaron is in Heaven, that's the important thing, says heartbroken mum

By Chris Kilpatrick

Almost one year on from the devastating farm accident that claimed the life of their young son, the pain of his parents was just as raw.

Maurice and Wendy Macaulay clasped hands throughout an inquest into 10-year-old Aaron's death.

Mr Macaulay choked back tears as the inquest was told his account of watching the tragedy unfold, powerless to help either of his stricken children.

His wife left the hearing briefly while details of the accident were read.

Afterwards she said: "Aaron is in Heaven. That's the important thing for me as his mummy."

Aaron enjoyed the same things as most little boys but his life's passion was farming, and he had helped his dad and siblings since the age of six.

He relished helping out during the summer holidays last July, accompanying big brother Matthew and their father in the fields around their home.

Matthew drove the tractor and spreader to the field, which had a steep incline.

Because of the dangers, his father insisted they swap vehicles, with Matthew and younger brother Aaron working further down the field where it was deemed safer.

Everything had been going as expected on what should have been a normal, routine day on the family farm.

However, shortly after 2pm tragedy struck.

Coroner Jim Kitson told Aaron's parents yesterday that the evidence they would hear from that day would be very difficult for them.

Alongside them was Matthew, who was fortunate to walk away without major injury.

He recalled the devastating events which led to the death of his younger brother.

Matthew told how two hours into the work the engine of the vehicle in which the boys were in cut out without warning. Maurice watched helplessly as it careered down the hill with his sons inside.

It stopped suddenly at the bottom, having crashed into a large rock.

Maurice charged down the slope to his boys and found Matthew on his feet and talking, with a cut to his head.

As soon as he saw his other son, Maurice said he knew he was dead.

Little Aaron had been thrown from the cab and was lying motionless.

There were no visible injuries on his body, but the accident caused massive neck and head injuries.

Aaron's sister ran to her sibling and performed CPR until paramedics and a helicopter arrived, just over 10 minutes later.

Despite their best efforts, Aaron was unresponsive and showed no signs of life.

Doctors also fought to revive the 10-year-old at Craigavon Area Hospital, but their efforts too were in vain.

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