Wellington community farewell's 'their little hero'

A small back street of Wellington normally filled with the fun and laughter of young children, fell silent this morning as people lined Elizabeth Street to say farewell to Kayleb ‘Buddy ‘O’Neill.

The nine-year-old died in a Christmas Day accident when he was thrown from the back of a motor bike into a paddock nearby.

The 12-year-old riding the bike during the accident was comforted by onlookers as he watched the procession make its way to St Brigid’s Church in Dubbo where a service was held.

He is on crutches with a broken leg and severe facial injuries.

Father Tony Hennessy said the tragedy has rocked the town.

“There’s little doubt this has been deeply felt by so many people,” he said.

“His mother has been very strong throughout.”

Wellington came out in force in blazing hot sun with Kayleb’s mother, Nathasa Smith, thanking the community for coming out to honour a life taken too soon.

‘’Thank you for all your wonderful wishes, the community has been incredible and you have supported me during our grief.”

“Thank you for honouring Kayleb.”

She was comforted following her short speech by those who had come to support her and her family.

Aboriginal elder Joyce Williams said the turn out showed Wellington’s big heart.

Ms Smith had organized the guard of honour to give people a chance to wish Kayleb well ‘’before he went to heaven’’.

A young man held a cross with the words ‘Kayleb ‘Buddy’ O’Neill’ on it.

He stood next to the family as the community farewelled ‘their little hero’.

About 200 people lined the street during the procession, coming from many parts of the town.

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