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Tractor fall boy stable in hospital as parents keep vigil

By Laura Abernethy

Published 28/10/2015

Little James Gregg, who was injured in a farm accident on Monday, remained in a stable condition in hospital last night. Stock image
Little James Gregg, who was injured in a farm accident on Monday, remained in a stable condition in hospital last night. Stock image

Little James Gregg, who was injured in a farm accident on Monday, remained in a stable condition in hospital last night.

The eight-year-old's parents, Joan and Wallace, have been maintaining a vigil at his bedside in the Royal Victoria Hospital since the accident.

James was left fighting for his life after he sustained head injuries when he fell from a tractor at the family farm on the Old Frosses Road in Cloughmills. He is understood to have undergone surgery.

The local community have been offering prayers and support to the family. Wallace is a well-known local farmer and Joan is a biology teacher.

The couple live on their farm outside Ballymena with their four children. The details of the accident are currently unknown but the boy was taken to Cloughmills Medical Centre following the fall. A spokesman from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said paramedics responded to a call made just after 11.30am after a boy fell off a tractor and sustained a head injury.

The spokesman added: "He was taken to Antrim Area Hospital and then subsequently transferred to Belfast just after 2pm."

Local UUP councillor Darryl Wilson said: "Yesterday there was a sense of shock and fear in the town when they heard about this accident. As a community, we were all very anxious, especially as the town still hasn't got over the tragedy of losing young Robert Christie.

"I was so glad to hear this morning that he was no longer critical, but we are still very concerned because he has sustained a serious injury. The family and the young lad continue to be in our thoughts and prayers and we hope he will make a full recovery."

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said: "I am shocked to learn about this accident and my thoughts and prayers are with the family circle at this very worrying time. Farming is very much a family occupation and I hope that the young boy will soon be able to return home to the farm."

The accident occurred close to the scene of a fatal farming accident in June 2014. Eight-year-old Robert Christie died in a slurry tank accident in Dunloy that also left his dad fighting for his life.

An inquest into his death found that Robert died from asphyxia from the toxic gases released during the mixing of slurry at a family friend's farm on Ballynaloob Road.

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