11-year-old Shippagan boy dead after being struck in head by scooter

Eleven-year-old Thomas Haché died on Saturday, succumbing to injuries he suffered after he was struck in the head with a scooter on Thursday. (Haché Family/GoFundMe - image credit)
Eleven-year-old Thomas Haché died on Saturday, succumbing to injuries he suffered after he was struck in the head with a scooter on Thursday. (Haché Family/GoFundMe - image credit)

Thomas Haché, an 11-year-old Shippagan boy who was hospitalized after being struck in the head by a scooter, has died.

Haché's death was announced Saturday in a post for a GoFundMe campaign raising money for the family.

"He had fought hard for the past two days but his body could not heal," said the post.

Mayor Kassim Doumbia, the mayor of the northeastern New Brunswick town, said the death is heartbreaking for the community.

"It's really sad, sad news," said Doumbia.

He said flags at municipal buildings and the school will be at half-mast.

RCMP investigating

RCMP told Radio-Canada that on Thursday that Haché was struck in the back of the head by a 15-year-old in the town.

The 11-year-old was later sent to the IWK in Halifax with serious injuries, including a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain.

Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada
Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada

The RCMP say they are investigating.

On Saturday, the GoFundMe page set up for the family said Haché was in a coma and in critical condition.

Doumbia said the family later made the difficult decision to take the boy off life-support.

Community grieving

People in the small town of about 2,500 are coming to terms with the loss of the child.

Jany Nowlan, who lives next door to the Haché family and whose partner is Haché's cousin, said people in the neighbourhood feel like they've lost part of their family.

She told Radio-Canada that Haché was loved by everyone, he was always laughing and was quite mature for his age.

Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada
Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada

Haché was also an accomplished athlete in soccer, hockey and handball.

Nowlan said the thought she'll never see him again is unimaginable and it will be hard to go on without him.

In a statement sent to parents, Rodney Ward, the principal of l'École L'Envolée where Haché went to school, said the boy died Saturday evening and an intervention team will be at the school on Monday to help students.

'We have to be there for both families,' says mayor

The incident, combined with both youth being from the community, has resulted in the mayor pleading for restraint and understanding.

Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada
Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada

Doumbia said two families are suffering and asked residents to be mindful about what they post on social media.

"We have to be there for both families to make sure that they can find a way to cope with that situation," he said.

Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada
Sarah Dery/Radio-Canada

Doumbia said the situation hits especially hard in a small town like Shippagan where "everybody knows each other."

"What I'm hoping for is that … events won't tear [families] apart and we find ways to forgive," said Doumbia.

"At the end of the day it's important to forgive."