Dustyn Drennan, 9.
Credits: File Photo.
DUNNVILLE, ON - A nine-year-old boy died Thursday from injuries sufferred in a freak accident when he slipped from a dog-grooming table with a leash around his neck.
Police would only say the death of Dustyn Drennan, fondly remembered as a smiling, blue-eyed redhead lad, was a tragic accident.
Krystal Murphy, the cousin of Dustyn’s mother, Christine Drennan, said the boy died at Pampered Pooch, a home-based pet grooming business west of Welland, Ont.
It's owned by Christine’s aunt, Murphy’s mother, and operates out of the garage.
Murphy said Drennan and her four boys were visiting Wednesday when sometime around 5 p.m., Dustyn went to the garage alone to play.
“He went out there to go play with the dogs,” Murphy said. “He got up on the table and put the leash around his neck and slipped.”
She said the kids grew up playing in the grooming area and it wasn't unusual for them to pretend they were dogs.
Cheryl Murphy, Dustyn’s grandmother, agreed.
“His love was dogs,” she said. “I’m pretty sure he was pretending he was a dog when he was up there.
“Ever since they were little they always went up there.”
Drennan was discovered by family just before 5:30 p.m. and taken to Dunnville Hospital before being transferred to Hamilton General, where he died at 12:58 a.m. Thursday.
Dustyn known for skateboarding and riding his bicycle around town. He was a popular student at Thompson Creek elementary school.
Family members and friends took to Facebook Thursday, setting up a R.I.P. Dustyn Drennan page. By Thursday night, it had more than 300 likes with people offering condolences and posting photos of the lad.
A memorial of stuffed animals, flowers and toys was also set up outside Dustyn's house.
“He was a well-liked, popular little boy,” Cheryl Murphy said. “You can’t go to the grocery store without someone saying ‘sorry.’
“It doesn’t matter where you go, everyone knows.”
William Drennan Sr., Dustyn's grandfather, said his grandson was a “quick little kid.”
“This last year, it just seemed like his life changed. He turned into a young adult,” Drennan Sr. said.