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Mother's heart-rending tribute to 'sweetest, kindest boy', 15, who died after e-bike collided with ambulance in police chase
9 June 2023, 18:27
The heartbroken mother of Saul Cookson, 15, who died after his e-bike crashed with a stationary ambulance following a police chase, has paid tribute to her "sweetest, most kindest" son.
The teenager was rushed to hospital after the crash, which took place in Langworthy Road, Salford, on Thursday, but died shortly afterwards.
In a tribute issued through police, his mother Emma Frendo said: "Saul was a much-loved son, brother, grandson, and nephew, loved by all that met him.
"He was the sweetest, most kindest boy ever, and always had the biggest infectious smile and was full of love."
His devastated friends and family have also been leaving tributes at the scene, where Saul is described as the "nicest lad about".
His sister said on Facebook: "Words cannot describe my feelings at the moment. Rest in peace Saul, I love you."
His friend Mitchell Murden, 21, who said he had been due to meet him on the day he died, said "the majority" of young people in the area had e-bikes. He described Saul as "a good lad" who "kept himself to himself".
The incident has now been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which has started an investigation into the fatal collision.
The watchdog said it is aware that officers followed the Saul "for a short period" before he went though the bollards.
There is "no indication at this early time in our investigation of direct physical contact" between the e-bike and police vehicle but investigations continue, it added.
IOPC regional director Catherine Bates said: "My heart goes out to Saul's family and loved ones, as well as all those affected by his tragic death."
Saul's cousin Jack Pennington posted a tribute online on Wednesday evening, which read: "Everyone who knew Saul knew he was the nicest lad about, had a good heart, polite and have u like no tomorrow.
"Can’t believe I’m writing this, no other word describes it other than shock. Don’t feel real in the slightest one of the best lads you could meet and I feel lucky to have called u my cousin.
"Had some good times growing up me u r tom n Jacob n I can’t believe that’s just it. Shows wat a cruel world we’re living in. Miss u forever my brother. Can’t say goodbye just see you later my mate love you RIP Saul my brother"
Meanwhile, his sister wrote: "Seriously can’t believe I'm typing this right now."I'm lost for words and don't know what to say.
"Just so crazy how it happened. In one blink he was gone. He was way too young and shouldn't have gone at 15.
"He was seriously my best friend and brother in one. Even though he did annoy me we had the best memories and will never be forgotten.
"I'm so proud to call you MY brother and you will always be in my mind and by my side.
"Such a cruel world and how fast it happened I was literally just talking to my mum and it just happened in one blink after all the good memories and I wish we could've made more but all of them are still in my heart.
"Rest easy Saul."
Floral tributes and messages were also left near the scene of the crash, as well as a cardboard sign attached to the fence which reads: "Kids on bikes don’t kill."
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: "At around 2pm on Thursday, GMP traffic officers began following a boy riding an e-bike along Fitzwarren Street in Salford, onto Lower Seedley Road. Bollards prevented the police vehicle from continuing to follow the e-bike.
"A short time later a road traffic collision occurred between the e-bike and an ambulance on Langworthy Road. The 15-year-old boy riding the e-bike sadly died.
"In line with normal proceedings, the incident has been referred to IOPC who are now leading the investigation.'A cordon remains in place on Langworthy Road. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy who tragically died."
An IOPC spokesperson added: "We are independently investigating the circumstances of a serious collision involving an e-bike and an ambulance in Salford on Thursday.
"The rider of the bike, a 15-year-old boy, was taken to hospital where he sadly died. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, as well as all those affected by this tragedy."
It comes just weeks after Harvey Evans, 15, and Kyrees Sullivan, 16, were killed in an e-bike crash following a 'police chase' in Cardiff.
Their deaths is believed to have caused violent clashes between residents and police in Ely, where the collision happened.