Leeds & West Yorkshire

Boy dies after hit by tractor in Rothwell

Harry Whitlam
Image caption Harry Whitlam was injured at Swithens Farm on Friday morning and died later in hospital

An 11-year-old boy has died after being hit by a tractor at a farm and visitor attraction on the outskirts of Leeds.

Harry Whitlam, from Wakefield, was injured at Swithens Farm, Rothwell, at about 09:20 BST on Friday morning, West Yorkshire Police said.

He was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary where he underwent head surgery, but he died on Friday night.

A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving and causing death by dangerous driving.

The man has been bailed pending further investigations, officers said.

'Tragic events'

A statement on the Swithens Farm website said the incident had happened on "the working part of the farm" and described it as a "tragic accident".

Jim Reid, father of the farm's co-owner Angela Broadhead, said everybody on the site was "very, very upset" at the boy's death.

"We don't know the full circumstances yet, but everyone's thoughts are with Harry's parents and his family."

Image caption The 11-year-old was airlifted from Swithens Farm near Rothwell to Leeds General Infirmary

Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said the boy's death had hit local residents hard.

"The community in Rothwell is very close and friendly so these tragic events will have sent a shockwave through the local community," he said.

"My thoughts go straight away to the family of the boy who has tragically died."

West Yorkshire Police said investigations into the "tragic incident" were continuing and appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.

Swithens Farm, which includes a shop, open farm, cafe and play barn, remains open to visitors, the site's owners confirmed.

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