In a most unfortunate turn of events, three-year-old Blake Graves was strangled to death while playing by his T-shirt.
The little boy was having fun on a slide when the unfortunate accident took place.
This tragic accident happened on July 9 last year although the results of the inquest are just being made public.
Conclusions drawn prove that Blake was indeed strangled by the shirt he was wearing when the accident took place.
Apparently, it got entangled at the top of the slide which was located in his own garden.
Reports show that the slide had been fixed a couple of times leading to some metal screws jutting out of the top.
From the inquest into Blake Graves death, after his shirt got caught on a rogue screw, he tried to go down the slide.
The resulting pressure caused the shirt to act as a ligature on his arms and back effectively cutting off air supply.
According to his mother, Blake and his little sister had been playing out in front of his home in Larchfield Garden.
After a short while, his mother took his sister inside while little Blake moved to the back garden to play on the slide.
Although he was under adult supervision, it was minimal as his mother’s view was obscured at times by a dog kennel.
- The family lived in Larchfield Gardens in Crook
CCTV footage from a neighboring property showed Blake had been in the rear garden just short of 20 minutes before his mother ran out of the side door of the house into the back garden.
The footage later showed her carrying the toddler inside.
At this point in time, he was no longer breathing and was not wearing his shirt.
His mother promptly rang up emergency numbers and a neighbor who had answered her cries for help tried to resuscitate the boy.
He was later taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough by an ambulance.
- James Cook University Hospital
It was at the hospital that Blake Graves finally gave up the ghost.
The three-year-old died the morning after he was brought in.
Det Insp Jones said,
‘What was quite clear was the slide is a good few years old, with wear and tear it had been knocked about a bit and many repairs had been cobbled together to keep it going for the kids to play on.
‘The one remaining handle is where the repair had been done.
‘I understand why, with a wood screw, to keep the handle sturdy for children climbing up to grab onto.
‘Unfortunately, the screw protruded 6mm from the original area’.
- The inquest was heard at the Crook Civic Centre
According to the inquest, the slide in question was manufactured without any safety breaches.
It initially had countersunk fixings which would have made for a smooth play experience.
However, on the day of the tragedy, the back of the slide was lifted slightly off of the ground by a child’s trampoline.
A factor that would have increased the pressure from Blake’s bodyweight.
Jeremy Chipperfield, the senior coroner for the County Durham and Darlington, also supported the claims of the inquest.
A post-mortem examination showed Blake was a healthy boy who died as a result of asphyxiation and pressure to the neck.