Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

This Tragic Accident Would Not Have Happened If Cars Had Not Been Parked There

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

This Tragic Accident Would Not Have Happened If Cars Had Not Been Parked There

Article excerpt

Byline: DAN WARBURTON

PARKING restrictions at the spot where a lad of 12 was knocked down and killed could have prevented the tragedy, a coroner ruled.

John James Heneghan, known as JJ, died under the wheels of a 4x4 just yards from his Tyneside home.

His dad John, 36, cradled his dying son in his arms as the youngster's life ebbed away.

But at an inquest in Newcastle, coroner David Mitford, who recorded a verdict of accidental death, claimed vehicles parked nearby had contributed to the "tragic set of circumstances" and he called for new safety measures.

He said: "In the view of special investigators and myself, it's very reasonable to think this tragic accident would not have happened if the vehicles had not been parked on that side of the road.

"JJ could not see the vehicle and the opposite applies that the driver could not see JJ. What I intend to do is to write to the local authority in my capacity as coroner, pointing out the circumstances of what happened here."

CCTV images show the moment JJ stepped in front of the 4x4 after as he "excitedly" returned home to Sceptre Place, Elswick, after buying sweets.

He suffered a fractured skull and serious damage to the brain in the accident, injuries which pathologist Dr Fraser Charlton said caused his death. A crowd gathered and frantic efforts were made to save the St Michael's School pupil's life, but nothing could be done.

Speaking after the inquest, mum Linda, 27, told of her anguish.

She said: "It was so difficult to hear the way your child has died but I discovered things that I didn't know earlier.

It's good to know he didn't suffer or feel any pain - that was my main concern.

"I'm in constant pain and my life is in pieces after losing JJ. I feel angry because the road should never have been used in that way.

"This Christmas is going to be impossible.

It's tearing us apart and we have to live with it every day. …

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