Mum's agony: Two-year-old drowned after car with handbrake off rolled into a river

Kiara Moore

A police officer broke down as she spoke about tragic Kiara Moore's death.

November 28 2018

The two-year-old was left alone in her car while her mother, Kim Rowlands, left to go inside the office of her family business in Cardigan, Wales.

During the two minutes and one second her mother was absent, the car rolled down a slipway into a freezing river after its handbrake was disengaged.

Police officers present at the scene broke down at the inquest as they explained how they used a baton to break into the car.

"I then felt Kiara's tiny body. She floated out of the vehicle into my arms," PCSO Caryl Griffiths said through tears.

"I then felt Kiara's tiny body. She floated out of the vehicle into my arms.

"She was wearing a pink jacket which matched the clothing described by her mother. As we reached the river bank I took hold over her and lowered her onto the floor, putting her gently on the ground. Officers began CPR on her. All I remember is standing there looking at her body on the ground.

"Her head was rolling all around the place and her face was purple."

Kiara was pronounced dead that evening at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

 

Initially, Rowlands called the police after fearing her car had been stolen.

But the car had rolled down a slipway into the River Teifi and was washed away by strong currents, meaning it was two hours before the police found the vehicle.

Coroner Peter Brunton recorded his verdict at the inquest.

"The question is how these events were able to occur with the gear and the handbrake in the positions described," he said.

"On the balance of probabilities, for that car to roll down the slope into the river, even in third gear, without its handbrake applied, the only inference I can say is that the handbrake was not set for whatever reason.

"It seems quite clear to me that drowning would have occurred within 30 seconds of the car going into the river."

Kiara died a week before her third birthday. 

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