A tight-knit coastal community is rallying behind a devastated family following the loss of their young son in a harrowing accident.
Two-year-old Oliver Koch was crushed and killed by a rugby scrum machine on a sporting field in Old Bar on NSW’s mid-coast region on January 28.
A rugby scrum machine is a weighted piece of equipment used to improve the strength and skills of their players..
His father called for help and bystanders performed CPR on the little boy, but he died on scene from his injuries a short time later, NSW Police confirmed.
Now the small town, about three hours north of Sydney, is rallying round with a GoFundMe fundraiser nearly hitting its target just hours after it was established.
Kerrie Johnson, the organiser of the fundraiser, set a target of $30,000 on Wednesday and as of Thursday morning, the call for help had already hit nearly $25,000.
“The Koch family are well loved in our community and our hearts are shattered for them after the devastating loss of their sweet boy, Oliver,” she said.
“Please help support the Koch family if you can. They would be forever grateful for the relief of financial pressure during this time.”
Comments from the fundraiser reveal an outpouring of love and sorrow following the tragedy.
“Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you all,” Belinda Blissett writes along with a $200 donation.
“Sending our love from Ireland. Claire and Tom,” Tom Lowry writes.
One anonymous donor gifted $1000 to the family, the largest donation so far.
Some community members across the region have taken to social media to express their heartbreak.
“Words can’t express the sadness I have felt since Sunday,” an instructor with Taree’s Get Swim School posted on Wednesday.
“An absolute tragedy for such a beautiful family, one I’ve had the privilege to teach. RIP Ollie. I’m so, so sorry.”
The police are not treating the incident as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner.