Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Driver Had No Chance to Stop

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Driver Had No Chance to Stop

Article excerpt

A TEESSIDE schoolboy killed as he tried to cross a busy dual carriageway was probably running to keep up with his older friends, an inquest heard.

Eight- year- old Stephen Blagg, from Whinney Banks, was killed instantly when he was hit by a BMW Z3 as he ran across the A19 between his home and Teesside Leisure Park. An inquest at TRAGIC: Stephen Blagg, left, died after being hit by a car on the A19 Teesside Coroner's Court yesterday ruled that the driver, Russell Hunt from Billingham, would have had "no time to react and the collision would have been unavoidable" Passing motorists Paul Goodchild, from Stockton and nurse Paul Jackson, from Sedgefield, fought to save the little boy's life, but despite their efforts both are sure that he died on impact. Staff at James CookUniversityHospital continued the resuscitation attempts, but Stephen, a pupil at Archibald Primary School, was pronounced dead less than an hour later. Sergeant David Allen from Cleveland's Road Policing Unit said: "It's a consideration that the very young and impressionable Stephen Blagg was more concerned about keeping up with his older friends and brothers than the dangers surrounding him." One of Stephen's friends said in a statement: "I was running I was just looking straight ahead for a clear path and that's when I saw the car.

"I saw Ste Ste running and I heard a noise. I didn't even think about looking right or left." At the time of the accident the Gazette spoke to residents in the Whinney Banks area who said that many children and adults regularly risk their lives by running across the A19 - instead of using a footbridge just 100m south. Coroner Michael Sheffield told the hearing that he will now write to Middlesbrough Council to "emphasise to them the importance of the repairs to the fencing being carried out", adding: "It makes it all too easy for people to go through the vandalised piece of fence and take the unauthorised shortcut." The inquest heard how Stephen, who lived in Springvale Terrace with hismum Suzanne Sefton and dad Stephen Blagg, had been playing with his two brothers and three friends on the mudbanks near Teesside Leisure Park on the evening of October 28, last year. …

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