Man held for murder as boy (12) dies in hit and run in Essex
Four teenagers and a woman in her 50s were also hurt during incident in Loughton
Police officers near Debden Park High School, in Loughton, Essex, after a 12-year-old boy was killed when a car crashed into children. Photograph: Rick Findler/PA Wire
Police investigating the death of a 12-year-old boy who was hit by a car outside a school in a suspected hit and run on Monday have arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of murder.
Four teenagers and a woman in her 50s were also hurt during the incident in Loughton, in Essex, though their injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.
“As a school and a community, we are devastated to say that as a result of the incident in Willingale Road this afternoon,” said Helen Gascoyne, the headteacher of Debden Park high school, as she confirmed the boy who died was one of her students.
“Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected. As a school we continue to work with the police supporting the ongoing investigation.”
The boy died in hospital, while Essex police said those injured included two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl and a 53-year-old woman. At least three of the teenagers were thought to be pupils at the school.
On Monday night, Essex police said: “A man has been arrested following a fatal collision in Loughton.
“The 51-year-old, from Loughton, was arrested on suspicion of murder, six offences of attempted murder, one offence of causing death by dangerous driving, six offences of causing serious injury by driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and driving without insurance.
“There is no wider threat to the public at this time, but we continue to ask anyone with information to come forward and assist with our enquiries.”
Officers had earlier urged people not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the collision.
Essex and Herts air ambulance said it was called out to help the East of England ambulance service and Essex police. Officers had been called to the scene just after 3.20pm on Monday.
In a statement released later that evening, Det Chief Insp Rob Kirby said: “This has been a truly shocking incident and my deepest sympathies are with all those involved.
“I would like to thank the many members of the public who have called us with information and spoken to our officers, as well as those who provided crucial medical assistance at the scene.
“I would urge anyone with information, dashcam footage, or who may have seen anything on social media that they think could be crucial, to call us.”
Debden Park is a mixed academy school for pupils aged 11 to 18, which specialises in the performing arts and received a rating of “outstanding” in its most recent Ofsted inspection, according to its prospectus. – Guardian News and Media 2019