Police investigating a hit and run outside a school tonight referred themselves to the standards watchdog over their “previous contact” with the murder suspect. Essex Police launched a major investigation after a group of children were allegedly targeted deliberately outside Debden Park High School, Loughton, on Monday. A 12-year-old boy, named today as Harley Watson, was…
Police investigating a hit and run outside a school tonight referred themselves to the standards watchdog over their “previous contact” with the murder suspect.
Essex Police launched a major investigation after a group of children were allegedly targeted deliberately outside Debden Park High School, Loughton, on Monday.
A 12-year-old boy, named today as Harley Watson, was killed by the impact, while several other pupils were left injured.
There followed a frantic manhunt for the driver of the silver Ford Ka, leading detectives to name Terry Glover, 51, as someone to whom they wished to speak about the crash.
Armed officers eventually swooped on a silver vehicle parked in a pub car park several miles from the scene at 11pm that night and arrested a 51-year-old man.
As tributes flooded in for the young victim, who was described by his family as a “good, kind, helpful and lovely boy”, the force said it had voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The referral was due to “previous contact between the force and a 51-year-old man” arrested in connection with the crash, a statement said, but no further further detail was disclosed.
Tonight, a mother whose son was injured in the chaos described how she held the hand of his 12-year-old schoolmate as he died.
Sonia Lard, 48, rushed to the scene of the deadly crash to find her 14-year-old son, Iman, among the injured.
She said: “My son called me and he asked me where I was and then the next minute I heard screaming and shouting.
“I could hear people just shouting my son’s name and that was it, everything else was a blur until I got there.”
Her son had been clipped by the car along with two of his friends, but escaped with a bruised shoulder.
Describing the scene of horror, the mother wrote online: “There were kids on the pavement crying, hurt.
“An off-duty fireman, a school teacher, myself and another trained in first aid tried so hard to save the boy who took the most impact, taking turns administering CPR.
“Once the first response arrived all I could do was hold this boy’s hands and try to comfort him as any mother would. We couldn’t save him. He died.”
She added: “All I can think about was his face and his mum, that is all I can think about.”
“I’m not a hero. I would do what any mother would do.”
Police confirmed they were now investigating reports that a driver made a botched attempt to hit children outside nearby Roding Valley High School 10 minutes before the fatal smash.
Rob Kirby, the officer leading the investigation, said there “may be connections” between the two incidents as he called for witnesses to come forward.
It also emerged that the tense search for the suspect culminated in the deserted car park of the Merry Fiddlers pub, around three miles from the crash site, where landlord Tom James had spotted a silver car parked outside at 10.45pm on Monday.
The 30-year-old told The Telegraph: “I noticed there was a silver KA and thankfully because Essex Police exposed their information on social media I had seen they were looking for a silver KA.
“The windows were steamed and I couldn’t see any movement.”
He added: “Undercover police cars showed up originally, followed two minutes later by another who pulled in and put his lights on him – probably to check it was the right registration.
“Then another eight police cars pulled in, closed in around him to make sure he wasn’t getting away – I heard some loud bangs as they smashed the window.
“He appeared to be lying in the driver’s seat and they dragged him out of the car.”
A suspect was arrested 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.