Tomos Bonford: Boy, nine years old, killed in a family farm accident

Tomos Bonford: Boy, nine years old, killed in a family farm accident

  • Written by Colette Hume and Catherine Evans
  • BBC News

Image source, Family photo

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A Tomos was crushed in a field on September 6, 2021

A mother found her nine-year-old son “in a little ball” after being hit by a water buggy, an inquest has heard.

Tomos Reece Bonford died in September 2021 when his father lost control while driving a truck pulling a water cart down a steep field.

The family escaped from the car but Tomos was injured and died at the scene in Blaenlishaw, Rhondda Cynon Taf, after sustaining wounds to the chest and abdomen.

The Pontypridd coroner reached a conclusion of accidental death.

Tomos, along with his mother, father, sister, and brother, escaped from the car, but the investigation reported that he was then hit by the water truck.

His mother Louise told the hearing she thought her son had jumped away from the truck and trailer as it rolled down the hill, but then saw him “in a little ball”.

The family drove the short distance from their home on Tyr y Gelli farm near Ynysybwl to the field to fetch water for a herd of calves on the morning of September 6, 2021, the hearing was told.

“a happy kid”

Reece Bonford said it was a trip the family had taken many times before, with the camper attached to the back of their pickup truck.

He cried as he described his son as a happy child who loved being with animals.

“We bought him a pet calf,” he said. “He used to walk it on a rope around the yard.”

He said it was a sunny day and the dew was rising. The ground had been dry for some time.

As he started driving across the field, he felt the truck sliding. He added that he regained control of the truck, but seconds later the truck began to slide again.

He explained while crying that he lost control while the truck continued to slide, increased its speed and headed towards a steep landing at the end of the stadium.

Mr Bonford said he asked his family to get out of the truck.

“I thought it was safer for all of us to come out rather than wait and see what happened,” he said.

“If anyone’s going, it’ll be me.”

His wife, Louise, was sitting in the back of the truck with their child, Clemmie. Tomos Reis was sitting next to her. Gethin, the couple’s eldest son, was sitting in the front passenger seat.

Ms Bonford said she pushed Tomos Rees out before jumping out, holding baby Clemmie to her chest. When the truck’s wheels passed over her, she said she thought she was going to die and threw the baby to her son, Gethin.

“I thought if anyone was going to go, it would be me,” she said.

“When I was under the wheels of the truck, I could see the vehicle approaching me.”

The family then realized that Tomos Reyes had been injured after being struck by the camper while stabbing the truck jack and trailer.

Investigators later found that the vehicle’s brakes were not working. At the time of the accident, the water tank weighed approximately 2,240 kg (4,490 lb).

The court was told that the maximum weight the truck had to tow without brakes was 750kg (1,650lb).

Emergency Medical Response Team doctors declared Tomos Reyes dead at the scene.

He was later buried on the family farm.

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