Boy crushed to death
10-year-old dies after water truck rolls over him

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

ARCTIC BAY (Mar 10/97) - A 10-year-old boy out for a walk with his mother and younger brother died here last week after he slipped under a water truck.

He was trying to see his reflection in the side of the vehicle, says a family friend.

Carleton John McGraw was on his way home for lunch Wednesday afternoon with his mom and younger brother when they saw the truck.

"His mom waved to the driver and he took a dash out for the truck to see his reflection -- he always liked to see his reflection in the truck," said the friend.

Lawrie Barton, principal at Inuujaq school, where McGraw's parents are both teachers, said the rear right wheel rolled over the boy's body, just below his chest.

"It passed over his mid-body where all the major organs are," Barton said. "He was taken by a local truck to the nursing station, but all efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Massive internal bleeding would be the cause of death, but it's not official yet."

Nanisivik RCMP Const. Harvey Seddon said it was completely accidental and no charges will be laid.

However, an autopsy was scheduled to be done in Toronto over the weekend.

McGraw's parents, Stephen and Cheryl, headed south to Ontario with their six-year-old son, Chad, Thursday morning to be with their families.

"It was a touching scene when they were leaving the community," Barton said.

"We marched down from the school to watch them pass by in their truck. When they saw us, they stopped and hugged us. Then we looked up in the sky and saw two sun dogs."

Barton said the experience helped reaffirm life and love.

"The last words of his mom were for us to tell the other children to stay away from the heavy trucks," she said. "Please talk to them about that. I don't want this to happen again."

Since the accident, the community has pulled together to support the family, raising more than $1,000 on the day of the accident.

In addition, the NWT Teachers' Association and the Baffin Divisional Education Board have set up a fund at the Royal Bank in Iqaluit to help the family with their expenses.

Arctic Bay's Inuujaq school was closed Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. When it reopened on Friday, teachers held a gathering for students to tell them exactly what happened and to give them a chance to mourn together.

Barton said she remembers the mom's last words before leaving the community for the funeral.

"We're OK. We've accepted this as part of God's plan for him," she said.