Essex Hit-And-Run: Family Pays Tribute To Boy, 12, Killed In Crash Outside His School

The family of a 12-year-old who was killed in a hit-and-run crash near his school in Essex has paid tribute to a “kind, helpful and lovely boy”.

Harley Watson was struck outside Debden Park High School in Loughton at about 3.20pm on Monday.

A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder, as well as the attempted murder of four teenagers and a woman who were hurt in the crash.

Harley’s family said in a statement: “We are so devastated by what has happened. Harley was a good, kind, helpful and lovely boy.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and concern. However as a family we would like people to respect our privacy and allow us to grieve in peace.”

GoFundMe page has already raised almost £10,000 for his family.

Harley Watson (Photo: Essex Police)

Murder probe detectives believe the suspect may have planned a similar attack nearby moments earlier after they received reports of a car mounting the pavement near Roding Valley High School in Loughton at around 3.10pm.

Harley died in hospital from his injuries and six others – including five children – were also hurt in the crash on Willingale Road.

A 51-year-old man remains in police custody on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and other motoring offences.

Scores of well-wishers have begun donating to a fundraising page in his memory, which has so far raised more than £10,000.

The force said on Tuesday it had “voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) based on previous contact between the force and a 51-year-old man arrested”, but said it was unable to give further details.

The suspect is being held on suspicion of murder, six counts of attempted murder and one of causing death by dangerous driving.

He is also accused of six offences of causing serious injury by driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and driving without insurance.

The Rector of Loughton, Reverend Chris Davies, spent Tuesday morning at Harley’s school, as tearful parents and pupils laid dozens of floral bouquets near the entrance.

One, from a friend named Edith, said: “Dear Harley, I will miss you so much! Forever be in our hearts. Fly high.”

A football inscribed with handwritten messages including “sleep tight little man”, and “little man with a big heart” was also left in tribute.


Essex Hit-And-Run: Man Arrested After Boy, 12, Dies Outside Loughton School

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