My last blog post was about the response to the death of six year old Ivan Cameron. Now I must mention again the loss of life of another child. In the case of Ivan his parents were aware that their severely disabled child could die at any time but, having said that, you can never really be prepared for the death of a loved one, it will always hit hard. But imagine now when the loss of one's child is like a bolt from the blue, that it happens in a split second and that the mother is there at the time. Back in January last year it should have been a normal happy day when Plymouth mother Carol Hammacott was walking her 9 year old daughter Stephanie to school. But a sudden gas blast showered Stephanie with debris and sadly she died as a result. I originally blogged about this awful tragedy on the ninth of January but am going back to it because the inquest into her death has just been completed.
The inquest jury think on the evidence that they heard that the gas explosion happened as a result of public utility work in the vicinity of the gas main. It seems that the gas pipe was left without sufficient support underneath which together with too much weight above it caused the pipe to rupture. This appears to be what happened but there is not enough evidence for a public prosecution as I understand it.
An inquest in one sense might be thought to bring closure but in reality it cannot. Mrs Hammacott will always ask herself - "Why was I spared and my Stephanie lost her life". I've never had to endure this sort of tragedy in my closest family but I know various instances of folk who have lost a child or young adult and can hardly imagine how they live with that loss for the rest of their lives. I really wanted to write this to just remind ourselves of the lottery life can be and how easy it is to forget those immediately affected by personal tragedy will forever grieve.