Family of boy, 12, killed in Essex ‘hit and run’ pay tribute to ‘lovely’ child

The family of a 12-year-old boy who was killed in an alleged hit and run in Essex have paid tribute to the "kind, lovely" child.

Harley Watson died after he was struck by a car near Debden Park High School in Loughton on Monday.

In a statement released through Essex Police, the family said: "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."

Four teenagers, also thought to be pupils at the school, and a 23-year-old, were injured in the collision that took place around 3.20pm.

Harley was rushed to hospital but tragically died from his injuries.

Police have since arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of murder, who remains in custody.

He is also being held on suspicion six counts of attempted murder and one of causing death by dangerous driving.

Dramatic pictures have emerged of the suspect being arrested after he was found “sleeping” in a pub car park.

Photos taken from the Merry Fiddlers pub, approximately five miles from the scene, appear to show police surrounding a car at the time of his arrest.

Roy James, 68, whose son is the pub's landlord, told the Sun Online: "My son rang the police. He saw this car while we were locking up.

"All the windows were steamed up and it looked like the bloke was asleep but we didn't know how long it had been there for."

The suspect was previously known to cops, and Essex Police have now referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

A spokesman said: “We continue to have a team of detectives working tirelessly to establish the circumstances surrounding the tragic events which unfolded yesterday and we are supporting the families of all those involved.

“We are aware of speculation around specific elements of contact between the force and the suspect.

“Due to this being a live investigation and now following the referral we are unable to offer comment on these at this time.

“We would like to also ask that nothing is reported about the suspect we have arrested, but not charged, which could have an impact on the legal process as it progresses.”

  • Crime

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