A relieved mother has told of the awful moment she feared her ‘brave
little warrior’ died after he was run over while being chased by a wasp.
Five-year-old Daniel Brierley ran in front of a passing car and was
knocked down and dragged along the road for 17 metres before being
trapped under it.
The courageous toddler ended up in agony with a fractured spine,
dangerous bruising to his brain, a broken leg, a number of broken ribs
and friction burns all over his little body.
But his mother Sharon told the Irish Daily Mail – as she nursed little
Daniel in hospital on Friday – how she has been ‘walking on air’ ever
since she learned that her son miraculously survived.
He had been trying to fight off the wasp that was bothering his friend
when it chased him onto the road where he was run over. Emergency
workers then had to come and lift the car off him.
His mother came on the scene moments after he was hit and was in dread that her son might die.
She told the Mail: ‘When I saw him, I thought he was gone. I thought he’d have internal bleeding.
‘The nurses say he is the talk of the hospital. He didn’t cry or
anything when it happened. When he was under the car he was able to talk
to his Mammy about Spider-man.
‘The guards said they’d never seen anything like it – a child in such a bad condition and able to talk like that.’
The accident happened outside Daniel’s grandmother’s home in the St
John’s Well area of Fairhill in Cork city, where Mrs Brierley brings
Daniel and his brother Jay, 7, to play most days – because it’s usually
safer than near his own home close to a main road.
‘He said “Mam can I go across to Jake and show him my new toy?” So I told him “yeah, just be careful”,’ she said.
Moments later Mrs Brierley heard her sister-in-law screaming from beyond
the front door and she and Daniel’s father Paul ran out. Daniel was
trapped underneath the car a considerable distance from where the
‘From what Daniel said, he was playing with his friend, showing him his new sword.
‘His friend was having a sandwich and a wasp was chasing the sandwich so
Daniel was trying to hit the wasp with his sword. Then the wasp chased
him so he ran and the car hit him,’ Mrs Brierley
‘He stepped out in front of it. It dragged him a long way up the road.
All the staff in the hospital can’t believe it, they’ve told me there
are other kids who just get a bang and they don’t make it.
‘He’s a trooper. They’re saying he’s a soldier and he’s really strong for such a small little child.
‘He’s really co-operating with all the nurses and he’s making everything
easy for them. When they’re changing his bandages you can see he’s in
pain but he’s not crying,’ she said.
Miraculously, Daniel is expected to make a full recovery from his
physical injuries. But his mother is worried that the psychological
scars the accident left behind might stay with him.
‘I’ve been walking on air ever since they told me he’ll be okay. But
then when I sit with him at night time and it’s time for him to go to
sleep he’s not even getting a few minutes, he’s screaming, “Daddy get it
off me, get the car off me” and he’s soaking in sweat.
‘We reassure him and tell him Mammy is here and Daddy is here and he’ll doze off but then he’ll jump every few seconds.’
She explained: ‘Every night I have to listen to him crying and that
upsets us again. I am hoping that because he’s young he will pull
through it but he’s deep and he takes things seriously so we’re both
She also worries about the effect the accident has had on Darren’s
brother Jay. ‘He’s seven but he thinks he’s 27, he’s trying to put on a
strong front but my Mam said he’s jumping in his sleep and he’s a bit
shaken as well.’
Mrs Brierley said she still can’t believe the accident happened. ‘It’s a
quiet estate and there are a lot of kids of his age out playing, we
thought it was safe enough. You just don’t know what could happen when
you turn your back for a few seconds. I never thought something like
that could happen because my Mam’s house is on a hill and cars move
Daniel will have to spend the next few weeks in hospital before he’s well enough to move home.
But neighbours have rallied around the family – with some even planning
to decorate Daniel’s bedroom in the theme of his favourite superhero,
Some have even given him their favourite toys.
‘Our neighbours couldn’t be any better, everyone has been so good. What
they’ve done is outstanding. They’ve been calling and sending gifts and
‘We have even been joking that if they send any more balloons the hospital will take off.’