Toddler drowns in Griffith canal

Morris Road canal
Morris Road canal

A family outing has turned to tragedy after a toddler vanished from his parents’ side and plunged into an irrigation canal in Griffith on Tuesday night.

Despite attempts made by paramedics to revive the 19-month-old boy, he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Griffith Base Hospital.

The family was visiting friends at Morris Road, Lake Wyangan when they decided to test out a remote control boat in an adjacent irrigation canal.

The family returned to the friends’ house soon after and discovered the toddler was missing.

After a desperate search, a passing driver noticed the toddler floating in the canal and informed his parents.

Paramedics recovered the boy from the canal and performed CPR, but it was to no avail.

The tragic incident dredged up sombre memories for Griffith woman Robyn Shaw, who lost her young daughter Stacey-Lee in an irrigation canal 40 years ago.

The four-year-old was being looked after by her grandparents when she followed the pet dog across the road and tumbled into a canal.

“It only takes a split-second for this to happen,” Mrs Shaw said.

“You can’t blame the parents and they shouldn't blame themselves.

“You can’t wrap them in cotton wool.

“No one should have to go through what we’ve been through.”

She said not a day goes by when she doesn’t imagine the life Stacey-Lee could’ve had.

“I grieve for the parents because I know what they’re going through,” she said.

“It’s just a terrible freak accident. 

“Every time I hear something like this happen it brings back memories.

“It's been 40 years but not a day go by when I don't think she’s going to get married.”