‘Little hero’ Peter Dodt, one of six killed in Devonport’s bouncy castle tragedy, resigned from funeral service

Hillcrest Primary School victim Peter Dodt has been remembered by family and friends as a “little hero” who tried to save others trapped in the bouncy castle tragedy.

The 12-year-old enjoyed the end of the year on December 16, when a freak gust of wind picked up the castle and several inflatable zorb balls.

Peter, one of six students who died in the incident, was fired Wednesday afternoon at a touching funeral in Devonport.

Dozens of people gathered for the service, with light green balloons adorning the walls along with large pictures of Peter.

His cousin, Jye Dodt, said that while Peter “was always up for a little bit bad”, he was a hero who struggled to the last in the hospital, allowing his father to say goodbye.

Composite image of six victims of bouncy castle tragedy with school signs as a background
The Devonport bouncy castle tragedy has claimed six lives: From top left: Chace Harrison, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, Zane Mellor. From bottom left: Addison Stewart, Jye Sheehan and Peter Dodt.(ABC News / Supplied)

“Peter was our little hero who was always there to lend a helping hand,” he said.

“Peter was killed prematurely in a tragic accident … and in typical Peter’s manner he was stubborn and struggled to the last.

“It turns out he was not only our little hero, but it sounds like he was also trying to help the other kids at the bouncy castle.”

A poem written by Peter’s mother, Miranda McLaughlin, was read aloud to mourners.

“No word can express the loss I feel, I’m sure it may not be real. You left your heart and soul, never will our hearts feel whole,” the poem read.

People drop green balloons
Dozens of people gathered for the service with bright green balloons. (AAP image: Sonja Ambrose )

An avid learning, aspiring police officer

Peter’s teacher, Gaye Kelly, described him as an avid student who was organized and “proud of his work”.

He played cop in this year’s school game and had ambitions to be a cop when he grew up, she said.

Two women hugging among a crowd of people, wearing masks
Two women are embraced at the funeral of Peter Dodt in Devonport, Tasmania.(AAP image: Sonja Ambrose)

The service ended with pictures depicting Peter’s short life and a video of Peter saying “you are stuck in eternity with me”.

Two boys who were seriously injured in the accident were moved out of the intensive care unit last week as their condition improved from critical to stable.

Funerals for Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones and Addison Stewart will be held in Devonport Thursday and Friday.

More than $ 1.4 million has been raised for the families through an online fundraising site, while the federal government has committed $ 800,000 to counsel and support the region.

Devonport City Council is collecting countless tributes left outside the school to create a permanent memorial.

Tasmania’s forensic scientists are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident and will receive reports from Tasmania’s police and WorkSafe Tasmania.



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