Port Pirie family pays tribute to tragic toddler

YOUNGSTER: Walker James Puddy died after a vehicle struck him beside Port Davis Road on Sunday. This photo was supplied by his family.

YOUNGSTER: Walker James Puddy died after a vehicle struck him beside Port Davis Road on Sunday. This photo was supplied by his family.

Walker James Puddy has gone to that great playground in the sky.

Taken from his family in a tragic, freak accident on Sunday, the two-year-old is being mourned in Port Pirie, South Australia.

Walker was fatally injured when a vehicle in which he and his mother had been travelling struck him about 11.30am.

His family penned a heartfelt tribute to the youngster:

“Walker was such a beautiful little boy who did not want to keep still.

“He loved playing outside, playing with his toys, playing with his tools fixing stuff or just playing with his dog Rocko.

“Walker loved his baby sister so much. He was so caring for her and wanted to play with her. The one thing he loved the most was ‘farm day’ with his nanny.

“He drove the tractor, cut the grass on the ride-on lawn mower, chasing Case the dog and, most recently, playing with his new best friend, Wanda the lamb.

“Our heart will be broken, but we will never forget our little baby boy.”

Our heart will be broken, but we will never forget our little baby boy.

Family's special tribute

Police said the accident had happened near Port Pirie. Walker and his mother were standing on the roadside after stopping for a rest break when their Toyota Kluger moved forward and struck the child.

Police and emergency services attended, but the young boy died at the scene.

Major Crash Investigators were at the site on Sunday.

Loss and grief counsellor with Anglicare SA Jacob Mangelsdorf, who has links to Port Pirie, said it was a “really sad story” and urged people to react respectfully and “simply be there” for Walker’s family.

“Sometimes it is important to remind people to manage or limit their social media use at these times,” he said.

“It is important to respect the family’s privacy and their time of turmoil.

“If you don’t know what to say, it is more than okay to say that you don’t know what to say and that you are here if they need you.”

Mr Mangelsdorf is based in Adelaide and his team can be contacted on 8131 3400. He once lived at Laura, worked as a counsellor based at Quorn and had family connections in Port Pirie.

Describing Port Pirie as a reasonably tight-knit community, he said people would react to the tragedy in their own way.

“We all have an individual and unique connection to the family. It is important to acknowledge that everyone has their own grief story that they are going to react with,” he said.

Port Pirie Recorder