Essex hit-and-run: Family of Harley Watson, 12, 'devastated' by his death

3 December 2019, 19:06

Harley Watson was killed outside his school in Loughton
Harley Watson was killed outside his school in Loughton. Picture: Essex Police

The family of a "lovely boy" who was killed during a hit-and-run outside a Loughton school have said they are "devastated by what has happened."

Tributes made by 12-year-old Harley Watson's family have expressed "devastation" at the loss of the schoolboy.

He was taken to hospital just after 3:20pm on Monday following the collision on Willingdale Road and later died of his injuries.

A statement from the family read: "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."

Harley Watson's family are "devastated" by their loss
Harley Watson's family are "devastated" by their loss. Picture: Instagram

Floral tributes were laid outside Debden Park High School where Harley was killed in what is believed to be a deliberate hit-and-run.

One of those messages read: "I will miss you so much! Forever be in our hearts. Fly high."

A 51-year-old man was arrested on Monday on suspicion of murder after a child died and four teenagers and a 23-year-old woman were injured during a car crash in Loughton, Essex.

Reverend Chris Davies said the community is "sad, hurting and grieving" but "pulling together to try and be there for each other.

"He said "it's not something you expect to see here in Loughton" and says that St John's Church is open "for anyone that is hurting or struggling".

Christian Cavanagh, executive head teacher, described the boy's death as "a young life so tragically lost".

Investigations are ongoing, Essex Police confirmed, and the constabulary has "voluntarily referred" itself to the Independent Office for Police Complaints "based on previous contact between the force and a 51-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder."

However, officers could not comment on any links between the force and the suspect as the investigation is live.

The force is supporting the families of those involved and are working "tirelessly" to establish exactly what happened during the collision on Monday.

In a statement released on Tuesday, DCI Rob Kirby said Essex Police were informed of a separate incident of a car mounting the pavement near Roding Valley High School, Alderton Hill, Loughton.

"The incident near Roding Valley High School, believed to have happened in Brook Road, was reported to us after it became widely known we were dealing with a serious collision in Willingale Road.

"Our investigations have led us to establish that there may be connections between that incident and the one which has led us to establish a murder investigation."

Essex Police are urging anyone with information, dash cam footage, or who may have seen anything on social media that they think could be crucial, to call them on 101 and quote incident number 726 of 2 December.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Just Stop Oil protesters have targeted planes at a private airfield in Stansted - where Taylor Swift's jets are believed to have landed just hours before.

Just Stop Oil protesters target jets at private airfield just hours after Taylor Swift’s arrival at site

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (centre), meets staff during a visit to Morrisons in Wiltshire

General Election LIVE: Poll shows Starmer on top after LBC phone-ins as calls for election betting enquiry ramp up after alleged offences

Watch in full: LBC's exclusive phone-in interviews with Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Watch in full: LBC's exclusive phone-in interviews with Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Here's everything we know about missing teenager Jay Slater.

Everything we know about missing British teenager Jay Slater who vanished on holiday in Tenerife

William appeared at Ascot

Prince William shares tender moment with Kate's mother as she suffers mishap at Ascot

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

'I just want my baby back': Mother of missing Brit Jay Slater, 19, issues plea after 'false sighting' delays search

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein is pictured with CEO Stockton Rush, who died on the Titan sub

Oceangate co-founder claims he can 'safely' send 1,000 people to Venus

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Theo Paphitis speaks to LBC.

'They've lost the plot': Ex-Tory donor and Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis reveals why he's switched support to Labour

Sir David Ormand has criticised the Conservatives for suggesting Keir Starmer is a security risk

Former spy boss criticises 'disreputable' Tory suggestion that Putin and Xi would welcome Starmer as Prime Minister

Justin Timberlake was arrested on Tuesday

'We'll have a lot to say': Justin Timberlake's lawyer vows to 'vigorously defend' singer after DWI arrest

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday

Rishi Sunak set 'to become first PM to lose seat' in election wipeout with Conservatives down to just 53 MPs, poll finds

Starmer and Neville

Keir Starmer tells Gary Neville he needs to win British people's trust, as he warns turning UK around will take 10 years

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives for a visit to Great Wood Farm Early Years Centre, Grantham in East Midlands, June 17

Sunak close protection officer arrested over alleged election date bets

Allen Morgan, 73, said he was locked in a "passionate but forbidden" affair with his now wife Margaret, 75, when he hired a hitman to kill his then-partner Carol

Pensioner found guilty of conspiring to murder wife after hiring hitman amid 'passionate but forbidden' affair