A MAN has been held over a fatal school hit-and-run after claims he was found asleep in a car as cops probe ANOTHER incident at a separate school. Harley Watson, 12, was killed and another five students were injured outside Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, on Monday afternoon. 8 Harley Watson, 12, was…
A MAN has been held over a fatal school hit-and-run after claims he was found asleep in a car as cops probe ANOTHER incident at a separate school.
Harley Watson, 12, was killed and another five students were injured outside Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, on Monday afternoon.
A 51-year-old man, from Loughton, was arrested overnight on suspicion of murder and six counts of attempted murder.
Among the injured were four boys aged 12, 13 and two aged 15, along with a 16-year-old girl and 23-year-old woman.
‘ASLEEP IN PUB CAR PARK’
Staff at the Merry Fiddler, in the nearby village of Fiddler’s Hamlet, say they called the police after seeing the suspect apparently asleep in the pub car park.
Roy James, 68, whose son is the pub’s landlord, said: “My son rang the police. He saw this car while we were locking up.
“All the windows were steamed up and it looked like the bloke was asleep but we didn’t know how long it had been there for.”
Mr James said his son matched the registration number and car to the one circulating on social media, before calling the cops at around 10pm.
“We have no idea how long he was there for,” he said.
“The hit-and-run happened ten minutes up the road. He could have sped straight from there.
“For the man to pull up somewhere and sleep in the car, it’s shocking. Where’s his head? To do something like this just before Christmas is horrible.”
TRIBUTES TO HARLEY
Essex Police are investigating whether the tragedy was linked to a similar incident, believed to have unfolded at the nearby Roding Valley High School, earlier in the day.
Tributes have since been paid to young Harley, who was remembered as a “caring” young boy.
One message read: “Today my little mate Harley sadly was involved in a devastated accident which has killed him.
“I know Harley did not deserve any of this because he was a caring boy and would never hurt anyone so everyone please make all your family members that drive a car, to please be careful on the roads.”
He added: “Our hearts are praying with Harley’s family.”
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Michelle Burrell said she had witnessed the horrific crash with her daughter, whose birthday it is today.
She told The Sun Online: “Me and my six-year-old walked in to it all.
“She’s seen things no six-year-old should see.”
One father, whose daughter was hit by the car, told Essex Live: “A Ford KA mounted the pavement behind her. Her friend was bounced onto the bonnet before another boy was hit very bad.
“The car drove off down the road and the police arrived quickly. My daughter is safe, but the wing mirror clipped my daughter. Her friend got thrown off the bonnet.
“It was awful to witness. Everyone is in shock.”
Head teacher Helen Gascoyne said the school had been “devastated” by the death of one of its students and that pupils will be offered counselling on Tuesday.
A mum, whose daughter sat next to Harley, said: “My daughter is distraught. She doesn’t know what to do with herself.
“She was with him during the day. She said literally hours before they had been together.
“He was a lovely funny boy.
“Our children are not safe. It could’ve been my daughter.”
Me and my six-year-old walked in to it all. She’s seen things no six-year-old should see
Christian Kavanagh, Executive Head, said: “We offer our heartfelt condolences to the young man.
“A young life so tragically lost. He made a mark on the school and was liked and loved by students.”
Chief Superintendent Tracey Harman last night confirmed a man had been arrested, with police now working to investigate reports of another incident at Roding Valley High School.
The school’s headteacher Sharon Jenner wrote in a statement: “The police are appealing for further information and I can confirm that we have been made aware from several of our students that a car, similar in description was seen in Brook Road, Loughton, at about 3:10pm.
“We have reported this sighting to the police to support the ongoing investigation.”
After an appeal for information, police arrested a suspect late last night.
He was also arrested on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of a collision and driving without insurance.
The arrest came after police earlier said they were searching for Terry Glover after the horror crash.
Officers had begun a manhunt as they tried to trace a silver Ford Ka which is believed to have been damaged in the crash.
Essex Police said all the teens injured were pupils at Debden Park High School.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Kirby, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, 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.”
A police cordon remained in place along Willingale Road on Monday night manned by officers.
The cordon began metres from the entrance to the school, near the junction of Jessel Drive, and an officer was going door to door in the streets nearby.
Armed police could be seen outside a home in Loughton, where neighbours said Glover lived alone.
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.
Anyone with dashcam, CCTV or information should contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.