In Australia, a grieving father said he will not give up fighting for justice for his little girl after she died at a Queensland industrial complex.
Michael Dorrough broke down in tears as he described the love for his daughter, Lily, in an interview with A Current Affair.
“Lily loved climbing and running around, she was always full of energy,” Michael said.
However, that all changed 18-months-ago when a horrible accident claimed the life of seven-year-old Lily and left a family shattered to pieces.
“My beautiful little girl is gone forever and nobody is accountable,” he said.
Back in August 2019, Michael picked up his daughters from school and brought them back to his flooring business, based at an industrial complex in Roma, south-west Queensland.
“The girls usually sit in the corner of the shop, normally quiet, no problems at all, if they need anything, they’ll come and ask Dad,” Michael explained.
On this particular day, two other children were also dropped off at Michael’s workplace. A CCTV footage has shown Lily and her friend happily playing, moments before the horror tragedy struck.
Lily can be seen climbing the racks of the showroom before packing up her belongings to head home.
“Next thing I knew, Lily’s friend ran in and said ‘Michael, Lily needs help’,” he said.
The CCTV footage shows Michael running and almost falling over as he races to find her daughter.
“I’ve run straight out the back door toward the toilets, following Lily’s friend and unfortunately I’ve found the tragic scene where a truck wheel has fallen on my little girl,” he explained.
Just meters away from Michael, Lily had been crushed by a truck wheel.
“Lily weighed approximately 18kgs, and when a wheel five times that weight falls on you, it’s not going to be a good scenario,” Michael said.
Michael rushed Lily to a hospital but the little girl’s head and chest had taken the impact of the 90kg wheel and there were nothing doctors could do to save her.
“It’s hard to believe, you think it’s a bad dream, you hope it’s a bad dream, you think this is not physically possible, my little girl was in the shop 10 minutes earlier,” Michael said, fighting back tears.
Weeks after the accident, Michael’s grief turned to anger as he fought for someone to be held accountable.
The neighboring tenant was Gavin Brown, who Michael claims used the shed for mechanical repairs, and adamantly believes he was running a business.
“Absolutely, I don’t have any other name or explanation for what he was doing,” he said.
Michael’s CCTV cameras captured Gavin driving into the industrial complex in the days before the accident with the truck wheels in the back of his truck.
Gavin could also be seen leaving the complex after placing them on the walkway outside his shed, just 24 hours before Lily was crushed to death.
Michael told A Current Affair reporter Pippa Bradshaw that the outside area of the sheds are common areas, with public access, and are expected to be kept clean and clear.
Police and Workplace Health and Safety investigated the accident but cleared Gavin Brown of any wrongdoing, saying it couldn’t be proven, he was running a business from the facility.
But the grieving father wasn’t giving up, requesting Workplace Health and Safety to undertake a second investigation.
Unfortunately for Michael, it led to the same outcome, ruling no one could be prosecuted over Lily’s death, leaving him devastated.
“This was a seven-year-old girl, there was no reason for the wheels to be there, you’ve got a 160 square meter shed that you’re renting that you could easily put two wheels inside,” Michael said.
“If this was me or one of the other tenants who put those wheels there, who are licensed, registered legitimate businesses then we would have been prosecuted,” he added.
Gavin has since left the industrial complex and runs a handyman business in town.
“Everyone knows how I feel about it, it’s not a very nice thing at all, the investigations have been done, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Gavin told A Current Affair.
Attorney Richard Mitry believes with Workplace Health and Safety unable to prosecute anyone, this case exposes a glaring hole in the system.
“The law is meant to protect and address community expectations, now there are some tragic situations where the law might not have kept up with those circumstances, and for that reason, the laws always need to change,” the lawyer said.
While Michale has been left heartbroken by the apparent injustice, he said he won’t stop fighting for his little girl.
“I want Lily to know that I loved her and I’ll never forgive this guy, never forget, and I’ll do my best for my little princess,” Michael said.
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