CLOSE CALL: Donna Teeling of Ocean Shores next to her backyard drain where daughter Zoe fell in during yesterdays flooding
CLOSE CALL: Donna Teeling of Ocean Shores next to her backyard drain where daughter Zoe fell in during yesterdays flooding

Drain nearly claims the life of baby Zoe

By RACHEL AFFLICK

THE week's heavy rainfall almost claimed a life when a baby girl from Ocean Shores fell into a drain swollen with water.

Moments before the accident on Thursday 18-month old Zoe Teeling had been standing on the back patio of her family home, watching the rain.

The drain, which backs onto the home, was gushing with water and it is likely baby Zoe wandered across the yard to have a look.

"I was doing the washing and wandering in and out of the house when I heard my father-in law bellowing out," her mum, Donna Teeling said.

"It was just one of those moments when everything looks bad. It scared the crap out of me,"

Zoe was ripped from the water by her father-in-law, after he saw a flash of 'pink' in the drain.

She had a few scratches on her face, and was terrified, but was otherwise unharmed.

Donna however, is not likely to forget the scare anytime soon and her fear turns to fury when she thinks about the danger posed by the drain.

Mainly because, Donna said, until a week-and-a-half ago the drain was protected by a fence.

Her house backs onto the newly upgraded Pacific Highway, and is separated from the road by a noise wall and the drain.

Donna said she was recently notified by a representative of Abigroup, the company that built the highway, that the fence would have to come down now that work on the road was complete.

"The fence has been there since we moved in two-and-a-half years ago," Donna said.

"When we moved in it was fully fenced and it was fully safe for my daughter."

The Northern Star yesterday contacted Abigroup inviting them to comment on the issue.

Abigroup did not provide comment but, that afternoon, a representative of the company contacted Donna and said a temporary fence would be erected.

Donna said she was told the fence would go up within five days.

She is pleased action is being taken, but remains concerned, even if a temporary fence goes up, that a hazard still lurks in her backyard.

"We need a proper fence not a temporary one that could fall down," she said. "People can still walk through there. Someone else could be hurt."



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