Boy, 8, trampled to death by cow in Georgetown

An 8-year-old boy was dragged and trampled to death by a cow on a farm in Georgetown Saturday after the animal apparently “got spooked,” his mother said.

George Carter was helping his father, Peter, to walk a herd of 20 cows around the farm, when one of them attacked him, Jacalyn Carter said.

“It was a freak accident,” Carter said in a telephone interview from her home in Methuen.

George was “never, ever afraid of the cows” his father keeps on a family farm. “My son has always been comfortable around these animals.”

She had never seen the animals be violent, Carter added.


Georgetown Police and Fire responded to a call for assistance at the Carter family home on Jewett Street at 12:44 p.m. on Sunday. The boy was rushed to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Essex District Attorney’s office.

State Police are investigating the boy’s death, but foul play is not suspected, the District Attorney said in a statement issued Saturday night.

George had just finished second grade at the Timony Grammar School in Methuen, his mother said.

Jacalyn Carter said she and her husband divorced earlier this year. Since then, George had lived with his mother during the week, and with his father on the weekends, she said.

On Friday, she dropped George and his sister, Bellah, 3, off at Peter Carter’s home. George was a curious boy who loved to learn about animals and their habitats, she said.

“He was a smart boy,” Jacalyn Carter said of her son. “He was always asking a question . . . He was loved by everyone.”

Alexandra Koktsidis contributed to this story. Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com.