Probe into tractor tragedy as boy named

Investigations were continuing today into the death of an 11-year-old boy killed after he was hit by a tractor at a Leeds farm.

Police have now named the victim as Harry Whitlam, from the East Ardsley area.

As reported on Saturday, it is understood that Harry was involved in a collision with a tractor at Swithens Farm, Swithens Lane, Rothwell on Friday just before 9.30am.

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He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance but died at the hospital following surgery.

Yesterday, the farm shop and play area were open as usual, with scores of children and families enjoying the play area and a bouncy castle as well as riding horses on the adjoining field.

A worker at Swithens Farm, who did not wish to be identified, said: “We are all in shock. His mum Pam works here as a cook and he’s well known to all of us. He loved coming down here in his summer holidays.

“He used to help out feeding the cows and other animals, we have a lot of children who come down here and help out.”

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The driver of the tractor a, 48-year-old local man, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving.

He has now been bailed pending continuing enquiries.

A spokesperson for Swithens Farm said: “It was a tragic accident and our thoughts are with Harry’s family. We are still not sure of the full circumstances but the accident happened on the working part of the farm.”

Harry’s grandad, Ronald, said that the family were too upset to speak.

He said: “It is too soon for us to say anything. We are all very shocked.”

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Neighbours of Swithens Farm told how they saw police taking a tractor and its trailer away after the incident on Friday.

Police have asked anyone who witnessed the incident to contact West Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Enquiry Team on 01924 293047 or via 101.