THE devastated family of a seven-year-old killed in a quad bike accident have remembered him as a “very special, soft boy” who loved his family and his dad’s farm.
Riverina boy Connor Irvin died on Monday morning after succumbing to injuries he sustained when he rolled a four-wheeler on his family’s Barellan property on Sunday.
Connor’s big sister Shenaye has since paid tribute to her beloved brother in a heart-wrenching statement.
“Fly high my big blue eyed angel,” she said.
“I’ll be seeing your gorgeous smile again soon baby.
“We are staying so strong for you; promise I’ll look after your best mate until you’re together again.”
In a harrowing turn of events, Connor’s family were forced to sit down and tell Connor’s twin brother — and “best friend” — that he had not survived.
The seven-year-old’s mum and dad have since issued a statement to the media regarding the death of their beloved son.
“Connor comes from a very loving family; he was a very special, soft boy who loved his twin brother Bailey and his sister Shenaye. He loved his dad’s farm,” it read.
It has also been revealed that the 110cc quad bike – a less-powered counterpart to a standard build – was purchased for Connor as a Christmas present.
His family are now being harassed online by members of the community, who are criticising the family for allowing such a small child on a quad bike.
Relative Chantelle Zingel was forced to defend her family from judgemental and vindictive comments posted on The Daily Advertiser’s Facebook page.
“Very sad but why do parents let kids this age ride these. The adult would have to be the owner. Why weren't they stopped from riding it!,” one person wrote on Facebook.
Another added: “7 & 9 ... on quad bikes.......stupid..!!!..Well said........same here ... Men need to wake up & grow up.”
Ms Zingel replied to the users, throwing her support behind Connor’s immediate family.
“You wanna know why? Because it was a kids quad bike, their Christmas present,” she said.
“They had helmets on. Accidents happen.
“Maybe have some compassion and consideration before you jump to conclusions and express your opinion.”
Griffith police nspectior John Wadsworth said Connor was riding the quad bike with his friend in front of family when the accident occurred.
“The family were watching as it happened on the boy’s family property,” Inspector Wadsworth said.
“It was an extremely traumatic scene with family members trying to help the young fella and everyone doing their best to save his life.
“They are obviously extremely distraught by this tragedy.”
SafeWork NSW is expected to launch a major public awareness campaign, including safety messages on quad bike risks and child safety, in the next few months.
It comes as pressure is mounting on the NSW government to introduce legislation to improve quad bike safety.
Last year there was a 30 per cent rise in quad bike deaths on the previous year across Australia.
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