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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Toddler loses eye after drone propeller sliced through it


Saturday 28 November 2015 | UK News feed

Toddler loses eye after drone propeller sliced through it
An 18-month-old boy was left blind in one eye when an out-of-control drone hit him in the face




Oscar Webb with his mum, Amy Roberts Photo: BBC




By Eleanor Steafel

12:42PM GMT 28 Nov 2015


An 18-month-old boy lost his left eye when he was hit in the face by an out-of-control drone.

Oscar Webb was left blind in one eye when a propeller sliced through his eyeball while he was playing in the garden.

Doctors fought desperately to save Oscar's eye but they were forced to remove it as the damage was too severe.

Speaking on Watchdog on Thursday, Oscar's mother told of the moment she realised how bad the accident had been, as she raced to hospital with her son.


Amy and Anita Roberts talking to the BBC's Watchdog programme Photo: BBC


Amy Roberts, from Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, said: "What I saw, I can still see it now, it was the bottom half of his eye and it's the worst thing I've ever seen.

"I just hoped and prayed all the way there that what I saw wasn't true and wasn't real.

"I can't really even remember what I was thinking at the time. I just remember waiting for someone to come and say it was OK.

"They (the doctors) did say that it was one of the worst eye incidents they'd seen. It was hard, I cried that much that even the consultant, it brought tears to her face."

Surgeons performed several emergency operations to try to save Oscar's eye but the drone had damaged it beyond repair and Oscar now faces having a series of further operations before he can have a prosthetic eye fitted.

The accident, which happened seven weeks ago, occurred when a drone being flown by family friend Simon Evans spiralled out of control.

One of Mr Evans' drones Photo: BBC

Mr Evans, who was an experienced drone operator before the accident, described the moment it hit Oscar.

He said: "It was up for about 60 seconds. As I brought it back down to land it just clipped the tree and span round.

"The next thing I know I've just heard my friend shriek and say 'Oh God no' and I turned around and just saw blood and his baby on the floor crying."

Mr Evans said he has not flown the gadget since the accident as the sight of one makes him feel "physically sick".

Oscar's mother said she wanted to warn others how dangerous drones can be.

"You don't realise the dangers, you don't expect something so severe to happen from what people call toys, I wouldn't class them as toys," she said.

Oscar's grandmother, Anita Roberts, who contacted the BBC after seeing a programme about the devices said it had been very upsetting.

"You can't take it in, the shock of it all, it's too much really," she said.

"You wish you could have been there instead of him, he's a baby."

The Civil Aviation Authority has released guidelines for how to fly drones safely and there will be a public consultation before a government strategy is published in 2016.



© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2015

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