Oakville kid dies dirt jumping??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Oakville kid dies dirt jumping??

    Does anyone know anything about this story??

    Heard it on the radio...Something about a 13 year old kid dying with doing some dirt jumping or trick riding, as they called it?? The child was wearing a helmet. Curious as to where this happened and what actually occured...

    Rich
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbart4506
    Does anyone know anything about this story??
    Heard it on the radio...Something about a 13 year old kid dying with doing some dirt jumping or trick riding, as they called it?? The child was wearing a helmet. Curious as to where this happened and what actually occured...
    News article here, but it doesn't really give any details about the "how" of the accident:
    http://toronto.cbc.ca/regional/servl...o-bike20050620

    TORONTO - A teenager has died after falling off his bicycle at a construction site in his Oakville neighbourhood.

    Ellis Leuschner, 13, was riding with a group of friends on a large pile of dirt when he fell off his bike and struck his head Saturday.

    He was taken to the Hospital for Sick Children, where he died from brain injuries.

    The boy was wearing a helmet when the accident occurred.

    Neighbours say the undeveloped housing site is hazardous and should be cleaned up.

    "The property isn't safe," said John Finnigan, who said his stepson was hurt in a riding mishap on the same hill last year.

    "It's used as a dump. There are nails sticking out of wood, and rats in there," Finnigan said.

    "We feel it could have been any of us, but for the grace of God."

  3. #3
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    Thanks....

    I was really curious at the use of the word site...The radio made me think it was at a bike park of some sort. It's awful when something like this happens. I can only imagine how the parent's are feeling right now. I know I'd be devestated if it was one of my kids.

    Rich
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

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    All I could find

    Source:CP24
    Even a helmet couldnt save an Oakville boys life after a bike stunt went horribly awry.

    Ellis Leuschner fell backwards off his bike, hitting his head, after performing stunts on the two-wheeler with his four friends Saturday.

    They were doing jumps and other dangerous maneuvers off a metres-high pile of dirt in an undeveloped housing site in the quiet suburb west of Toronto.

    Leuschner, 13, was wearing a helmet at the time, but he still suffered serious brain injuries in the fall.

    The boys friends called for help, and people from nearby homes performed CPR until paramedics reached the scene. He was taken to a local hospital before being moved to Torontos Hospital for Sick Children, where he later died.

    It apparently wasnt the first time kids had taken to the dirt hill for fun and antics, and local parents had been complaining about the site for some time.

    One father, whose stepson fractured a wrist after playing there last year, said it was an accident waiting to happen, adding that there were nails sticking out of wood posts in some spots, and the property was home to rats.

    Oakville Mayor Ann Mulvale said she didnt have information about any complaints, but said the local councillor was aware citizens were concerned.

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    From the Toronto Star a bit more information on the accident.

    Oakville boy dies on dirt hill
    Work site popular with bike riders
    Oakville mayor aware of concerns

    JIM WILKES
    STAFF REPORTER

    Parents say they've tried for more than a year to have Oakville level a line of hills made from excavation fill where a 13-year-old boy died Saturday morning in a failed bicycle stunt.

    Although he was wearing a helmet, Ellis Leuschner suffered irreversible brain injuries when he flew into the air and landed on his back and head while trying a jump on a six-metre-high hill in a northeast part of the city where new homes are being built.

    The boy's devastated father said Ellis excitedly told him about going to the site, which is a short bike ride from the family's home in the Eighth Line-Dundas St. area.

    "He was an adventurous guy and a real leader," said Rob Leuschner, group publisher for Brabant Newspapers, a Dundas-based chain of weekly newspapers in the Hamilton area. "Everybody who met him loved him. He lived life to the fullest. We miss our boy."

    Ellis attended a private school in Mississauga and loved golf, skateboarding and tennis.

    He was a winger with the Mississauga Terriers AA hockey team. Patricia Gill said area residents have been urging the city to raze the hill for more than a year.

    "But instead of taking it down, it's gotten bigger," she said. "It's dangerous. There's a ramp up there and everything. There are rats and glass and nails and debris.

    "We tell them not to go up the hills," said Gill, a mother of four whose son Sheldon fractured his wrist riding his bike on the same hill last year.

    "But you know boys. If there's a hill, they'll go on it."

    Residents said a nurse and doctor who live in the neighbourhood tended to Ellis before paramedics arrived. He was taken to Oakville Trafalgar hospital and later transferred to Toronto's Hospital For Sick Children.

    A makeshift fence has been erected to keep people away from the hill. Bouquets of flowers are now wedged into it. But Gill said that as parents gathered to discuss the accident on Saturday afternoon, she could see kids jumping bikes on other hills.

    Oakville Mayor Ann Mulvale said she didn't have any specific information about complaints relating to the site but that the local councillor was aware of residents' concerns. The mayor said she would be asking for a case study.

    "No one wants this sort of thing to happen and your first inclination is for the dreadful loss to the family," she added.

    David Policelli said he knew Ellis and used to ride his bike on the same hills.

    "But once I fell I never went back on my bike around there again," the 13-year-old said.

    "There was a big jump and I went airborne.

    "This is so sad," he said. "One day you're talking to him and the next day he's dead."

    Phil Luhovy, 16, was headed to the hills on his bike yesterday when he learned of the tragedy.

    "It's a little weird to think somebody died up here," he said, hopping back on his bike to go home.

    A visitation will be held tomorrow from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Scott Funeral Home Mississauga Chapel at 420 Dundas St. E. A funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Dominic's Church, 625 Atwater Ave. in Mississauga.

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    raze the hills?

    Quote Originally Posted by Braids
    From the Toronto Star a bit more information on the accident.

    Parents say they've tried for more than a year to have Oakville level a line of hills made from excavation fill where a 13-year-old boy died Saturday morning in a failed bicycle stunt.

    Although he was wearing a helmet, Ellis Leuschner suffered irreversible brain injuries when he flew into the air and landed on his back and head while trying a jump on a six-metre-high hill in a northeast part of the city where new homes are being built.

    Patricia Gill said area residents have been urging the city to raze the hill for more than a year.

    "But instead of taking it down, it's gotten bigger," she said. "It's dangerous. There's a ramp up there and everything.
    I'm sad about the loss of life with this accident. But notice the calls to flatten the hill in the above article? When will people learn that it's not the hills we need to change, but the people? Just because something has the potential for an accident, doesn't mean we need to get rid of it! If someone has an accident wiping out while riding at Blue Mountain, does that mean they should close Blue Mountain? I don't think so! That's just one of the risks you take when riding. "It is dangerous" they say. It can be, and we know that, and we ride anyway. But so many things can be dangerous. I don't hear people calling for the demolition of roads because of car accidents, or a ban on skateboard parks because of the risk of accidents. Flattening hills and taking down ramps is not the solution. People need to take responsibility for their actions, and accept the risks associated with certain activities like biking. I think most bikers do understand the risks and accept them - serious injuries are usually the result of freak accidents, as might have been the case on this occasion (and my sympathies to the family). Parents need to take responsibility for what their kids do and what they teach them. My son has a bike, and if he gets a serious injury while cycling on the sidewalk, I'm not going to complain to the township for making the sidewalk too hard - by letting him ride his bike and teaching him how to ride, I am accepting the risk of a possible injury, and it's my responsibility as a parent to give him boundaries, if an accident of any kind happens, I'll accept that. The call to raze hills is a real over-reaction to stories of accidents like this. Come to think of it, if that's what it takes to protect me, they're gonna have to flatten all the stairs and walls near the mall and school which I like riding on and over!
    (end rant!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Braids
    The boy's devastated father said Ellis excitedly told him about going to the site, which is a short bike ride from the family's home in the Eighth Line-Dundas St. area.
    I'm truely sorry that something like this would happen, and I feel for the parents of this young man.

    However I'm going to have to agree with Londonlad here, In the quote above the Father is even quoted that his son told him he was going to that place to ride his bike. Just seemed like an odd quote if they thought it was so unsafe before hand.

  8. #8
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    helmet has very limit protection

    I read about the story in Toronto star. I feel really sad for the parent of this kid. The jump ramp was just too high for him. Helmet can only protect from certain amount of impact force. The high drop of the ramp generated too much force for the helmet to aborb it.

    This terrible accident serves a wake up calll for all downhill jumpers that helmet doesn't provide total protection from a crash.

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    Let's boil this down to the essentials. We have a young teen who thinks he's bullet proof (didn't we all?) riding his bike in an area he wasn't supposed to be, without proper supervision and without sufficient instruction. Additionally, he was attempting tricks probably beyond his skill level and apparently beyond the capabilities of his equipment. Whose fault is this?
    1. The city for not ensuring the construction site was secured.
    2. The construction company, for the same reason and not providing security personnel to keep the kids out.
    3. The parents for not making sure their kid was doing the right thing. (And don't try and tell me they couldn't have done anything, my old man would have nailed my butt to the wall if he had heard about me doing this kind of crud when I was that age. Apparently this wasn't the first time the kid had been there.) Parents have to be the adults. You can't be your kid's buddy all the time.
    4. The kid has to share the blame too. He knew that wasn't the place to be. He took a risk and it bit him. Kids do stupid stuff. Parents are supposed to provide the brains for a little while.
    And what will finally get out. This kind of riding is dangerous, it should be outlawed. They'll probably even imply that the kid wasn't in the wrong place. Or at the very least, not mention the location.
    Darn right it's dangerous. That's why you do it in the right places with the right equipment and training. I had a SCUBA instructor that used to say, "the most dangerous thing in the water is man". It's true of biking too. We're the most dangerous thing in the woods folks. That's why you stay within yourself and your equipment. You have to know the limitations. If you don't, you get hurt. In some cases, you die.
    These good folks can raze the hill if they want, but that won't get rid of the stupidity that caused this accident.

    I'm done now. Ride on.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy
    Darn right it's dangerous. That's why you do it in the right places with the right equipment and training. I had a SCUBA instructor that used to say, "the most dangerous thing in the water is man". It's true of biking too.
    Excellent point. Saying that the city and construction site are to blame and that they should raze the hill, is like saying that too many people are drowning in the ocean so they should dry up all the water. We don't need to destroy hills/trails/jumps/ramps or outlaw bikes etc - what we need is people who think before they act, and parents who are prepared to do some thinking for their kids and teach them about responsibility. Even then the occasional freak accident will happen...but that's life. It's not the hills or bikes that are dangerous, it's the people that ride them.

    Keep riding, dirt jumping, hucking...but know your limits and use your brains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlad
    Excellent point. Saying that the city and construction site are to blame and that they should raze the hill, is like saying that too many people are drowning in the ocean so they should dry up all the water. We don't need to destroy hills/trails/jumps/ramps or outlaw bikes etc -
    I have to respectfully disagree with you on this minor point. The city and construction site have to share some blame for this incident. Based on the article, the site was unsafe for biking. Not because of the hill, but because of the debris (boards with nails sticking out etc.) Some sort of tragedy was bound to occur simply because kids are inherently "stupid". Therefore, if the city or construction company wasn't willing to ensure the site was safe, then they should have ensured it was secure. Basically what I'm saying is, there are appropriate and inappropriate places to ride. The adults of the world need to ensure that the kids know the difference and then make sure they obey the rules. That's our job as adults. We all have the responsibility to make sure the young ones grow up. Yes accidents happen. This wasn't an accident. Accidents are unavoidable.

    Now ultimately the parents and, yes, the kid have to accept the lion's share of blame for this tragedy. It's a damn shame that it happened. Especially since it could have been avoided.

    Should they raze the hill? That's their problem. Since it isn't a naturally occuring part of the landscape and just a big pile of dirt from excavations, I don't care one way or the other. When you get down to it though, it isn't the hill's fault. It isn't the bicycle's fault and it isn't even the helmet's fault. People caused this by not taking appropriate precautions to ensure this kind of thing wouldn't happen. It shouldn't have taken a whole lot of foresight to see that this kind of thing was a probability. Instead of standing around wringing their hands and wishing that someone would raze that hill. They should have been doing something to ensure that either the hill was safe to be on, it was inaccesible, or their kids were under control and stayed off of it.

    I think we agree that it really all boils down to personal responsibility and razing hills, bulldozing trails or banning bikes isn't the answer (but it will probably be the knee jerk reaction).

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    The dirt hill was temporary to begin with. The developer created it during the inital stages of construnction and planned to level it during a later phase of constructing the suburb.

  13. #13
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    When the dust settles on this case, I sure the lawyers will spray blame everywhere. However, without knowing the facts, it's easy to second-guess who is the blame.

    A couple of points oldguy
    -You make a lot of sweeping generalities about what the boy was up to, his capabilities, and level of skill and equipment. Lets just still to the FACTS, and not hear-say
    -At age thirteen, the law does not agree with your general assertion of his level of decision making capabilities etc. He's was a kid, doing what kids do........
    -Someone (developer/builder/city) has just fenced off this area to keep people out. So do not ASSUME they are automatically to blame. Someone was making an effort to keep people from the hill. However, no matter what deterrent was built, kids will get in if they really want to.
    -The hill was man-made, by excavations from the area. The wood/nails you talk about, were carried to the hill by someone for the purpose of building jumps. How is the city/developer responsible for this?

    So lets try sticking to the facts, and not assume we know what really happened. Eventually the truth will come out, and we can make and educated comment.

    For years, kids have made dirt jumps and taken stupid risks in the name of adventure. Most of the time, they/we walk away with nothing more scratch and a bruised ego. This time....lady luck wasn't watching over young Ellis............RIP kid, my prayers are with you!
    It's only pain......

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    "Attractive Nuisance"

    "A potentially harmful object so inviting or interesting to a child
    that it would lure the child onto the property to investigate."

    Google the phrase...there's a ton of information out there.

    It's a legal term that applies here.
    The developer shares the majority of the blame.

    Then the parents. Kids will be kids...
    the onus is on the parent to teach the child the perils of playing on a construction site.

    That said...the loss of a child must be the worst that a parent could experience.
    My heart goes out to the family.

    michael
    "Be not afraid of going slowly but only of standing still." - Chinese Proverb

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    The other day on my street a 10 year old was riding one of these mini motorcycles, I think it's called a pocket-rocket. The thing looks just like a Kawasaki Ninja (double exhaust and all), goes very fast (I estimate he was going 40km). He was flying around on this thing, and to boot, didn't have a helmet on. The parents were watching this!

    I hate to generalize, but we live in a world "full" of retards (sorry to use that term). Sounds cold and I'm probably not being honest, but I wouldn't feel for those parents one ounce of they lost their child to an accident. In my opinion, any parent that knowlingly let's this happen should have their child removed from them. Might sound harsh, but so is dying...

    A kid who is ten knows better, but I can speak from experience that we didn't know as much as our parents about right and wrong and safety. If I was 10 I would've loved to ride that thing, but my parents would have grounded me for a year.

    Here comes the big generalization...both kid's parents work, and long hours to boot, they feel guilty so they give lots of slack to their kid. Anyone else see this happening in today's society?

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    Toronto Sun article

    Comment: While my kids were playing on some play equipment at a park the other day, I was thinking: "One of them could fall just wrong, smash his head, and die." It's possible. And if it did happen, I wouldn't blame the makers of the play equipment for that, nor the park, nor my kids. But it's certainly not a reason to get rid of the play equipment. And I'm not going to stop them from playing there either. That's life - even with the best precautions, accidents do happen. The same is true of biking. This accident is an aberration, and trying to pin the blame on a construction company or others involved is neither useful nor necessary. Play on, and ride on!

    Source: http://torontosun.com/News/TorontoAn...0/1096681.html

    Teen bike tragedy

    Boy dies after falling at Oakville site


    OAKVILLE, Ont. (CP) — A 13-year-old boy is dead after falling off his bike while doing trick jumps at an undeveloped housing site near his home.

    Ellis Leuschner and four friends were using a metres-high pile of dirt popular with kids who like adventure sports Saturday when the boy fell backwards and hit his head.

    His friends started calling for help, and people in the neighbourhood rushed over to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.

    The boy was taken to hospital in Oakville and then transferred to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where he later died.

    Leuschner was wearing a helmet but still suffered extensive brain injuries.

    He was the son of Rob Leuschner, publisher for Brabant Newspapers, which runs the Hamilton Spectator, Waterloo Region Record and Guelph Mercury.

    “He was an adventurous guy and a real leader,” Leuschner said. “Everybody who met him loved him. He lived life to the fullest. We miss our boy.”

    Neighbourhood residents said they had been trying for a year to get the city to do something about the site they considered dangerous.

    “The property isn’t safe,” said John Finnigan, whose stepson fractured a wrist last year while riding his bike on the same hill.

    “It’s used as a dump. There are nails sticking out of wood, and rats in there. We feel it could have been any of us, but for the grace of God.”

    Oakville Mayor Ann Mulvale said she didn’t have any specific information about complaints about the site, but added the local councillor is aware of residents’ concerns.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlad
    Comment: While my kids were playing on some play equipment at a park the other day, I was thinking: "One of them could fall just wrong, smash his head, and die." It's possible. And if it did happen, I wouldn't blame the makers of the play equipment for that, nor the park, nor my kids. But it's certainly not a reason to get rid of the play equipment. And I'm not going to stop them from playing there either. That's life - even with the best precautions, accidents do happen. The same is true of biking. This accident is an aberration, and trying to pin the blame on a construction company or others involved is neither useful nor necessary. Play on, and ride on!

    Neighbourhood residents said they had been trying for a year to get the city to do something about the site they considered dangerous.

    “The property isn’t safe,” said John Finnigan, whose stepson fractured a wrist last year while riding his bike on the same hill.

    “It’s used as a dump. There are nails sticking out of wood, and rats in there. We feel it could have been any of us, but for the grace of God.”

    Oakville Mayor Ann Mulvale said she didn’t have any specific information about complaints about the site, but added the local councillor is aware of residents’ concerns.
    You're comparing apples to oranges.

    Perhaps I assume too much, but I assume your kids were playing on equipment specifically engineered and manufactured for children to play on. Presumably it is also well maintained and located in an area also designed and intended for children to play. One can also be fairly assured that responsible adults in the community and at the company that designed and manufactured the equipment built the equipment and the park with the safety of the children in mind. I agree that should an accident occur under those circumstances, placing blame is neither useful nor necessary. Would you feel that way if the community did not properly maintain the equipment, or it was improperly designed, manufactured or erected? Shouldn't blame then be placed on those responsible? I think yes. Why? In the hope that it doesn't happen again. If people are negligent and are not held accountable for their negligence, then they will continue in their negligent ways.

    This was a construction site; not a bike park, not a playground; a construction site.
    Was someone negligent?
    It is my opinion, based on the facts available to me, that someone was.
    The residents of the community recognized it as unsafe and had been trying to get someone to do something about it. The construction company did erect a fence around it at one point. The fence was apparently ineffective since it didn't keep the kids out. There is no information that I have read suggesting anything more than that occured. I firmly believe that this was a tragedy that could have been easily avoided if the local government, the construction company, or (perhaps) the residents had done just a little bit more. What could they have done, you ask? Patrol the area with private security, local police, community volunteers. Somehow keep the kids out.
    Finally, give them someplace appropriate to ride. Someplace designed with their safety in mind. Someplace supervised.
    Lastly and most importantly, parents need to recognize the inherent dangers in any type of riding and ensure our kids are properly schooled in the safe operation of their bikes. Ride with your kids, when possible. They learn from you.

    Yes accidents happen, but I'll say it again...by definition, this was NOT an accident.

    accident - an unforeseen unplanned event or condition

    If you can't foresee a kid getting injured or killed while riding his bike at a construction site,
    you're blind.

    And that's the last pearl I'll cast on this subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turt99
    I'm truely sorry that something like this would happen, and I feel for the parents of this young man.

    However I'm going to have to agree with Londonlad here, In the quote above the Father is even quoted that his son told him he was going to that place to ride his bike. Just seemed like an odd quote if they thought it was so unsafe before hand.
    Just a response after all these years. We thought that Ellis was going to a site not too far from there were we had been with him before. This is what he thought as well.
    Ellis had never been to this site to ride his bike as we were just jogging beside it 2 days before. The site....meaning on top of the dirt hills. After the first jump that was it. The jump was approximately just under 2 feet high. It was because the ground was clay and so hard. If it had been Softer dirt, grass it would of been a different story. Apparently by law the immediate site was suppose to be fenced off but it wasn't. At one end they attempted with a fence, at the the end no attempt at all.people frequently would walk their dogs, jog etc. On the path beside "the site". Just wanted to clarify. This area was very unsafe on the top of the hill, unlike a playground made for children. The comment from londonlad was a bit much, considering he had never seen the site. Thank you for your concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turt99
    I'm truely sorry that something like this would happen, and I feel for the parents of this young man.

    However I'm going to have to agree with Londonlad here, In the quote above the Father is even quoted that his son told him he was going to that place to ride his bike. Just seemed like an odd quote if they thought it was so unsafe before hand.
    Just a response after all these years. We thought that Ellis was going to a site not too far from there were we had been with him before. This is what he thought as well.
    Ellis had never been to this site to ride his bike as we were just jogging beside it 2 days before. The site....meaning on top of the dirt hills. After the first jump that was it. The jump was approximately just under 2 feet high. It was because the ground was clay and so hard. If it had been Softer dirt, grass it would of been a different story. Apparently by law the immediate site was suppose to be fenced off but it wasn't. At one end they attempted with a fence, at the the end no attempt at all.people frequently would walk their dogs, jog etc. On the path beside "the site". Just wanted to clarify. This area was very unsafe on the top of the hill, unlike a playground made for children. The comment from londonlad was a bit much, considering he had never seen the site. Thank you for your concern.

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    If we're going to discuss "blame" and ask "who is responsible?" from the comfort of our arm chairs, something to remember is that fault does not always add up neatly to 100%. It is entirely possible that the parents did not adequately supervise or caution their child AND the builder did not adequately fence off and supervise a dangerous construction site AND although the child was 13 he did not exercise adequate judgment AND the municipality did not enforce bylaws already in place with respect to construction sites.

    There's a tendency to assume that if one party is partially at fault, somehow other parties are off the hook. Not so.

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    As the mother of Ellis I just wanted to clarify some of the information. I'm not sitting from an armchair wanting to discuss blame. It was a very unfortunate accident. May no one ever have to experience the loss of a child.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittykat
    As the mother of Ellis I just wanted to clarify some of the information. I'm not sitting from an armchair wanting to discuss blame. It was a very unfortunate accident. May no one ever have to experience the loss of a child.
    I'm so very sorry for your loss. I also apologize for any part of my comment that was rude or insensitive. I was attempting to make a general comment about Internet accident analysis, however I really should have thought about your feelings before hitting submit.

    I remember losing a childhood friend who drowned in a swimming pool in front of my eyes, it is all very senseless.

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    Thank you so much for your response. Our son loved biking and life.

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