A six-year-old boy has died after he was trapped under an excavator in Saint-Jean-de-Dieu in Quebec's Lower Saint-Lawrence region Sunday, leaving the tight-knit community reeling.
Quebec provincial police said the incident happened at 3:30 p.m. and that investigators were on site to determine the circumstances surrounding the death.
In a news release, police said it appears the incident was an accident.
The town's mayor, Alain Bélanger, said he knows the family well and that his six-year-old grandson was good friends with the boy.
"It's awful … we are all grieving," he told Radio-Canada. "Everyone in Saint-Jean-de-Dieu is shocked. These are things that should not happen, but they do and it was an accident."
Bélanger said the excavator was being operated by the boy's dad when it happened. He said the father often does work using heavy machinery for the town.
"I hope the parents will be able to get through it, but you never get through [something like] this," the mayor said. "You try to live with it."
"They're such great people, they are constantly serving the community and have been for generations," he said of the family.
"We're in solidarity with the parents; there's not much else to say," Bélanger said, letting out a sigh. "We're going to try to support them as much as possible."