Police remain quiet on child's death

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 15:53 10/03/2014

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Police are remaining tight-lipped about how a young boy was killed at a South Otago logging site on Friday evening. 

Jonathan James Kerr, 8, of Milton, was declared dead in a logging area in the Manuka Gorge after emergency services could not revive him.

Detective Sergeant Brett Roberts, of Dunedin police, said a truck seized by police from the site was undergoing forensic and electrical testing.

This might take several days, he said.

Police are refusing to provide information surrounding the exact nature of Jonathan's death only saying it was not as the result of a logging accident or what kind of truck had been seized.

Mr Roberts would not confirm reports the boy died after getting his head caught in a truck window.

The cause of death would not be released by police as the matter had become a coroner's inquiry, he said.

A truck from South Otago contracting company, Wynyard Transport, was seen working at the scene of the boy's death but a spokesman from Wynyard Transport said: "I could comment but not while there is an investigation going on. I don't want to jeopardise it."

Mosgiel-based Wenita Forest Products is listed as the owners of the Nugget Stream forest block where Jonathan Kerr died.

Company chief executive David Cormack told The Southland Times the investigation was in the hands of the coroner and the company was instructed not to talk to media.

Clutha District Council mayor Bryan Cadogan said he had limited information surrounding the death of Jonathan but as a father himself, his heart went out to the Kerr family.

An assembly was being held at Milton Milton Primary School to  work through the tragic situation with the children.

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- The Southland Times

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