Flood of tributes to boy killed in bike tragedy

FLORAL tributes at the scene of an accident where a 12-year-old Hucknall cyclist was killed
FLORAL tributes at the scene of an accident where a 12-year-old Hucknall cyclist was killed

HUNDREDS of heartfelt tributes have been paid to a much-loved 12-year-old cyclist who was killed in a tragic road accident in Hucknall.

Jeffrey Townley died in hospital three days after the crash on Linby Road.

He is the second pupil of Hucknall National Church Of England Academy to have been killed in a bike tragedy in just over two months.

Jeffrey was in a collision with a Peugeot van at 7.50 pm on Thursday September 6.

He was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, and placed in intensive care but he died last Sunday.

Fifteen-year-old Harrison Carlin, of Buckingham Avenue, Hucknall, who also went to National on Annesley Road, was killed in an accident on Sunday July 1.

He was riding a bike on Forest Lane, Papplewick when he was in collision with a car.

The accident involving Jeffrey happened on the stretch of Linby Road between Hucknall Leisure Centre and Church Lane.

Leading the tributes this week was academy principal, Dr John Edwards. who said: “Members of the National community are in mourning for their devastating loss.

“Jeffrey, a year-eight pupil, was a popular and lively boy with a great sense of humour. He had many friends in different year groups from across the school.

“Pupils have been trying to come to terms with this tragic event. There have been special assemblies for those closest to Jeffrey and a voluntary service was held at lunchtime on Monday.”

A facebook tribute page has also been set up in Jeffrey’s honour and already has more than 600 messages on it from school friends.

Jeffrey was also well-known as a young footballer and had links with several local junior sides, latterly Huknall Rangers. Teammates have visited the scene of the accident.

Seventy floral tributes were to be seen on a grass verge at the site this week.

One of the messages, from a mourner named Emma, read: “Rest in peace, Jeff. I will never forget the memories we have had. I will miss your cheeky smile and your cute laugh.”

Another message was worded: “I can’t believe this has happened. You will always be remembered. You were a good friend to my brother and a very polite, loving and caring young lad. My heart goes out to you and your family.”

As well as the floral tributes, two footballs were laid at the scene and the words ‘Fly high, bud’ were written on one of them.

Dr Edwards told the Dispatch that after Harrison’s death, a group of pupils had started a campaign to improve safety on the country road where that accident happened.

He added: “All pupils in National are given lessons in road safety as a normal part of their personal development programme.

“However, this latest tragedy has strongly underlined the need to raise awareness even further, on the part of young people, drivers and road designers.

“Over the coming weeks and months, this is an issue which we will return to. But for the moment, we would like to support those pupils who are grieving for the loss of a friend, and honour Jeffrey’s memory as well as we can.”

A woman who lives on Linby Road but did not want to named said: “Everyone is very upset that a young life has been lost in this tragic way.”

Although speed is not thought to have been a factor in the accident, the resident said there was a need for traffic-calming measures on Linby Road and Church Lane.

Calls have also been made by Coun Mick Murphy, a Hucknall Conservative member of Notts County Council, to ‘educate’ youngsters about dangers involved in riding their bikes.

He said: “I feel distraught that these two lads have lost their lives.”

Nottinghamshire police are investigating the Linby Road accident. Anyone with information is asked to call Det Con Katie Stokes, of the crash investigation unit, on 101 extension 800 2225.