A community mourning the deaths of five Tasmanian children killed in a jumping castle accident has raised more than $1 million for their grieving families.
Eleven-year-old Addison Stewart, and Zane Mellor, Jye Sheehan, Jalailah Jayne- Maree Jones, Peter Dodt, all 12, lost their lives, while three others are in a critical condition.
Grace Johnston, who is raising money for Zane Mellor’s mother, described Zane as a beautiful, caring, and gentle soul who kept achieving despite his challenges with autism and ADHD.
Five children have died in a freak jumping castle accident at a primary school in northwest Tasmania. (Source: 1News)
She said she wanted to raise money for his mother Georgie Gardam as she would not be able to work following the tragedy.
“Georgie is the most amazing mum, she never gave up and was by his side every step of the way encouraging, loving and fighting for him,” Johnston said on the GoFundMe page.
“This has shook so many people and the community and we want to do anything to help make things a little easier for her at this hard time.”
Peter Dodt’s aunt Tamara Scott also set up a fundraising page, describing her nephew as a young boy who was full of life and adventures, while Addison Stewart’s aunt Meg Aherne said she was trying to help her niece’s family pay for a funeral and to pay off some bills.
“They have another daughter and son to take care of and I’m hoping to alleviate some of the stress of bills,” she said.
“Everyone is devastated, she was always such a sweet kind, old soul – We all love you Paddi Melon.”
One of the fundraising pages, posted by Devonport local Zoe Smith, had raised just under $1 million by late Friday, with the money to go to Hillcrest Primary and its Parents and Friends committee to be distributed to affected families.
“Any donation is much appreciated and hopefully we as the incredible community of Devonport can rally to support such deserving and hurting people,” Smith said.
Meanwhile authorities are examining whether the inflatable castle was properly tethered.
On Friday police warned not all of the public’s questions could be answered at this stage, with details of the incident to be examined by the coroner.