Pram dis­pute led to death


Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - THOMAS CHAM­BER­LIN

A MIS­UN­DER­STAND -ING about a pram in a pub led to a fight be­tween a fa­ther and son, and a lov­ing mother dy­ing af­ter in­ter­ven­ing in the melee, it has been re­vealed.

Ann Hay, 55, lapsed into a coma af­ter ar­riv­ing home with her fam­ily fol­low­ing the fight out­side the Ara­mac Ho­tel, north of Bar­cal­dine, on Satur­day night.

The small town of about 300 yesterday re­mained tight- lipped about the in­ci­dent which has left its com­mu­nity in mourn­ing and dis­be­lief.

It’s un­der­stood Mrs Hay’s hus­band David walk- ed into the ho­tel and another per­son com­mented on a pram that he was push­ing, in the lead- up to the fight on Satur­day night.

He replied his son Rob­bie, the fa­ther of the child, was not yet there.

It’s un­der­stood his son al­legedly mis­un­der­stood his fa­ther’s re­sponse to the other pa­tron.

An ar­gu­ment en­sued be­tween the fa­ther and son be­fore the two fought out­side the pub.

Po­lice be­lieve Mrs Hay be­came in­volved in the al­ter­ca­tion and re­ceived a blow or push from one of the men be­fore hit­ting her head on the ground.

She got up af­ter the fall and went home but then lapsed into a coma and was taken to Bar­cal­dine Hos­pi­tal, be­fore be­ing flown to Townsville with a brain in­jury.

Po­lice said there were lim­ited wit­nesses and no CCTV re­lat­ing to the in­cid dent on Satur­day night.

Mrs Hay, de­scribed as a down- to- earth beau­ti­ful per­son, passed away in Townsville Hos­pi­tal ear­lier this week. A post- mortem e ex­am­i­na­tion has been cond ducted but it is un­der­stood fu fur­ther tests will take place.

Mrs Hay was wellk known in the com­mu­nity fo for her in­volve­ment in char­ity and the lo­cal school.

The fam­ily are known for their vol­un­teer work in the Harry Red­ford cat­tle drive each year, which hon­ours the man known as “Cap­tain Starlight”, who was fa­mous for steal­ing 1000 cat­tle from Queens­land and tak­ing them to South Aus­tralia.

The tragedy has left the Ara­mac dis­trict reel­ing, with Phyl­lis Stralow, from Ade­long and Coorabah sta­tions, remembering Mrs Hay as some­one who was al­ways ready to help oth­ers.

‘ She was just one ter­rific lady. Ann was just one of those peo­ple who would drop any­thing to help some­one. The whole dis­trict here will feel her loss,” Ms Stralow said.

Po­lice have ap­pealed for any­one who saw the in­ci­dent to call Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

COM­MU­NITY IN SHOCK: Ann Hay, who died af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion last Satur­day night, her son Rob­bie ( inset above) and ( right) hus­band David.

How the Bul­letin re­ported the tragedy this week.

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