angie.thompson@gaflnews.com



OMEGA -- An 8-year-old boy died Thursday as a result of accidental electrocution local law enforcement officials said Friday.

"It was a horrible, freak accident," Tift County Sheriff Gary Vowell said.

Wyatt Dillard, 8, of Omega, was at play in the yard of his grandparents, Ann and Sirman Dillard, at 1068 Salem Church Road, Thursday when he came in contact with an electric fence. When Lt. Larry Taylor of the Tift County Sheriff's Department arrived at the scene, four paramedics had the boy in an ambulance and were attempting to revive him.

"There were family members and friends and neighbors there when I arrived," Taylor said. "He wasn't there alone."

Taylor said the incident was "horrible" and was difficult for him to explain.

"From what we gather, he was playing and just being a typical kid. I don't know if we will ever explain it," Taylor said.

Taylor said a four-wheeler was near the accident scene, but the all terrain vehicle was not believed to have played a role in the accident.

Tift County E-911 dispatched paramedics to the scene of an unresponsive child who had choked on a pickle and then fallen onto the electric fence.

As is routine in the case of a child's death, Dillard's body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Lab in Moultrie for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. The death investigation will be completed by bureau agents.

Nurses, paramedics and law enforcement officials have reportedly had a difficult time coping with the deaths of two children this week. Counselors met with emergency workers late Thursday afternoon to debrief them on coping with such tragedies.

"This is our job and we do it to the best of our ability, but we are human and can only take so much," Taylor said. "We just try to perform our jobs professionally at the time but when it is all over, it can really hit us."

Dillard's parents are William and Debra Fender Dillard. Dillard's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Chapel of Albritton-Beaumont Funeral Directors. Burial will follow at Salem Baptist Church Cemetery.



To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.



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