The mum of a four-year-old boy killed in a tragic boating accident has paid tribute to the “bright little boy”.

“He was always happy to see his mum, see his sister and see his family,” Lauren Hilton told The Daily Telegraph.

“He was a happy four-year-old. A bright little boy.”

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She said it was hard to believe Bentley’s life was taken “so quickly”.

She last saw her son on Mother’s Day but had spoken to him the night before he died.

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“He was happy telling me about everything he was doing. We were laughing and giggling,” she said.

Ms Hilton told Nine News: “I tried to close my eyes last night and all I could see was him… wanting to get out, yelling out for help”

Bentley was sitting in the passenger seat of a Ford XR8, while his grandfather reversed onto a boat ramp at Newall Ski Park, on the Hawkesbury River in Sydney’s northwest around 10.45am yesterday.

The vehicle then slid into the river and started sinking after the man got out to remove a tinnie strapped to the tray.

Bentley’s father and grandfather both dived into the water a number of times to try and save the boy who was strapped into the car with an adult’s seatbelt.

Divers eventually located the ute about 20m from the end of the ramp with the young boy restrained inside.

He could not be revived.

The vehicle will be examined to see if there was a mechanical failure.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of little Bentley.

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  • such a tragic accident, I have a 4 yr old boy too


  • Oh gosh, what a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the family.


  • rip you poor beautiful boy


  • RIP little Bentley. I hope the family can find peace and not blame themselves too much. You would think in the car is the safest place when unloading / loading a boat. Freak accident


  • What a terrible way to loose your beautiful child. :-(


  • How very hard for the family. Condolences.


  • I saw this on the news last night and felt so upset. I can’t imagine how the grandfather must be feeling. The news didn’t mention that Bentley’s dad was also present. My deepest condolences to the family. R.I.P. young Bentley.

    • The boy’s Father also dived into the water, not just the Grandfather. Like all little boys he probably wanted a ride while the boat was being pulled out of the water. They probably also thought he was safer in the vehicle.


  • What a tragic incident. My heart aches for the family.


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