Beach tragedy comes just two weeks after couple jailed for bouncy castle death of Summer Grant
PUBLISHED: 17:18 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:28 03 July 2018
The death of a young girl at Gorleston beach today has drawn stark comparisons with the death of a Norwich youngster also killed on a bouncy castle two years ago.
The tragedy comes just two weeks after a couple were jailed in Essex for three years following the death of seven-year-old Summer Grant, from Hellesdon, on one of the inflatables in 2016.
Shelby and Will Thurston were found both found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence on June 15 after they failed to secure the bouncy castle as it was blown 300 metres down a hill and hit a tree with her inside.
MORE: Child killed after being thrown from bouncy castle on Gorleston beach
The Valley Primary School pupil, who had been enjoying a family day out at a funfair in Harlow Town Park, Essex, later died in hospital.
And while it does not appear that the circumstances of Summer’s death were the same as today’s tragedy, it has led to questions over whether enough safety precautions are taken with the attractions.
MORE: Three years’ jail for bouncy castle couple whose ‘monumental risk’ cost Summer Grant her life
Summer’s grandmother Rachel Chamberlain wrote on this newspaper’s Facebook page: “It’s only two weeks ago that the people responsible for my granddaughter Summer’s death were jailed and I hoped with all my heart that this would never happen again! Things must change! My heart bleeds for this family, devastating!”
For two days before Summer died there had been a weather warning in place and during the trial meteorologist Dr Richard Wind said wind speeds were between 35-40mph that day.
Lee Grant, Summer’s father, said during the court proceedings: “I just heard my mum scream ‘no’ and within seconds it blew away. I just saw some sort of cable flying in the air and it just blew away.
“I remember it blowing over some sort of caravan and kept on going over the field.
“I started running after the bouncy castle down the field.”
He continued: “It was 30 to 50ft in the air and just rolling down the field, just rolling and rolling.
“I think it hit a tree. At the end of the field, it came to a halt when it hit the fence.
“I couldn’t find her. I couldn’t find the entrance to the bouncy castle as it had deflated by the time it reached the end.”
He said he saw someone go into the bouncy castle to bring Summer out.
After Summer’s death communities in Norwich and Harlow came together to remember her and money was raised to help with funeral costs.
In Norwich, then headteacher of Valley Primary School Douglas Dale said described Summer as a “cherished member” of the school and said everyone’s thoughts were with the family during the “desperate time”.
He said: “Summer was an amazing girl - she was so full of kindness and a genuine source of inspiration for everyone she came in contact with.
“Her smile and the trademark flowers in her hair brightened up every day at school and she had such a love of life and a natural instinct to make the most of everything life had to offer.
“Summer’s unique, gentle nature makes her untimely death all the more cruel and difficult to comprehend.”
In Harlow more than 150 people lit candles at what is known locally as ‘Summer’s Gate’ at Harlow Town Park.