A young boy told a childcare worker that his four-year-old friend ‘wasn’t waking up’ when he spotted him lying dead at the bottom of a slide, an inquest has heard.
Aldrich Viju was found not breathing on the ground at Angels Childcare Centre in Takapuna, Auckland on November 18, 2016.
The four-year-old had been playing with a toy stilt that had a bungee cord attached to it after his father dropped him off around 1pm.
The cord had become caught on the slide and Aldrich was found at the bottom of the slide with the stilt around his neck, Stuff reported.
The little boy who found him then told a teacher: ‘Aldrich was sleeping and wasn’t waking up.’
Aldrich Viju died on November 18, 2016. He was found at the bottom of the slide not breathing
The confronting details of Aldrich’s death have been heard in a Coroner’s inquest at the Auckland District Court on Tuesday.
Jiae Kwon, the teacher who found the four-year-old, said his heart was beating but he wasn’t breathing.
‘The rope was tangled on top of the slide… and it caught the arm of Aldrich,’ she said.
Ms Kwon performed CPR onto Aldrich and paramedics were called but the little boy was unable to saved.
Fletcher Pilditch, the lawyer for the childcare centre, said staff were still struggling four years after the tragedy.
‘To this day the tragedy is unfathomable. For them, they still struggle to see how this very brief event wasn’t seen straight away,’ he said.
‘This was indeed a tragic accident.’
Aldrich’s death was investigated by police and Worksafe but was deemed an accident and the childcare centre was cleared of any wrongdoing.
A $40,000 playground has since replaced the previous one.
Aldrich had been at the Angels Childcare Centre in Auckland (pictured) when he died. A teacher performed CPR and paramedics were called but he was unable to be saved