Two schoolboys died – and two others were left fighting for their lives in hospital – after a horror road accident in Leeds.
Rhys Baker, 13, and George Wharton, 14, who are both from Morley, died after the road accident on the A62 Gelderd Road, Morley, close to the CAT Finning shop, at 1.50pm on Saturday.
Their friends, 14-year-old Kameron Walters, and Joshua Van Veen, 15, remained in hospital in a critical condition last night as a result of the collision. The driver of the car, a 21-year-old man, is in a serious but stable condition.
Speaking at the scene of the crash, where dozens of the boys’ friends left flowers yesterday, Superintendent Sam Millar of Leeds Police said the crash had been an “absolute tragedy”.
The blue Peugeot was travelling along the A62 in the direction of Gildersome when the car left the road and collided with a tree. The driver had picked the four boys up from their homes, without the permission of their parents, before driving around the area, police said.
No other vehicles are believed to have been involved, although it is thought the car overtook another vehicle at speed during the incident.
This is an absolute tragedy for these families, for our community and for the local schools.
Supt Millar said: “It would appear that the vehicle lost control, and has ended up hitting a tree. One of the passengers, a 13-year-old boy, died instantly at the scene, and a second boy died later on in hospital because of his injuries. Two other boys remain critically ill, and the driver is also seriously ill but stable.
“This is an absolute tragedy for these families, for our community and for the local schools.”
Supt Millar praised the actions of members of the public, who came to the boys’ help immediately after the crash.
She said: “The scene that must have faced them was unimaginable. The support that these members of the public gave the young boys and the emergency services was really commendable.”
Specially trained officers are helping the families, and police are working closely with Bruntcliffe School and Morley Academy to support staff and pupils. Officers were also at the accident site yesterday, supporting the dozens of children who stopped to pay their respects.
“We are working with the schools to make sure we are supporting them as much as possible,” Supt Millar said. “Some of it will be about information, some of it will be about support, some of it will be keeping them updated as to when the investigation progresses. It is about working together to do everything we can to support the children.
“Specially trained officers are with the families at the moment, at the hospital, and we also have our local neighbourhood teams out in the community.”
Officers are also trying to
determine what happened in the minutes leading up to the crash.
Supt Millar added: “This blue Peugeot was out and about in the Morley area on Saturday, particularly in the area of Rein Road in Morley and the Tesco Express on Churwell Hill.
“I would ask anybody who saw this vehicle to please make contact with police, phone 101 and let us know what you saw.
“Two young boys absolutely tragically lost their lives here and our sincere thoughts are with their families and the
communities that they come from.”
Any witnesses are asked to contact the Major Collision and Enquiry Team on 101.