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  1. ITV Report

Family pay tribute to schoolboy Harley Watson who died following Essex hit-and-run

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia

The family of Harley Watson who died after a hit-and-run in Essex have paid tribute to their "lovely boy".

The 12-year-old was killed in a "deliberate" hit-and-run crash outside an Essex school on Monday evening.

In a short statement Harley’s family said: “We are so devastated by what has happened.

“Harley was a good, kind, helpful and lovely boy."

Essex Police said a 51-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of murder, six counts of attempted murder and one of causing death by dangerous driving.

He faces additional charges including causing serious injury by driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and driving without insurance.

The road remains closed. Credit: PA Graphics

Harley was a pupil at Debden Park High School close to where the crash took place on Willingale Road.

His family added: “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.”

The family of Harley paid tribute to their 'lovely boy'. Credit: Essex Police

The arrest came after police said they were searching for a Loughton man, named as Terry Glover, over the incident.

Four teenagers, thought to be pupils at Debden Park High School in Loughton, and a 23-year-old woman were also injured when the car ploughed into them.

Officers had begun a manhunt as they tried to trace a silver Ford Ka, thought to have been damaged in the crash in Willingale Road.

Police are now investigating whether a second incident, outside Roding Valley High School in Loughton, around 10 minutes prior to the fatal crash is connected to their murder probe.

Armed police stand outside a house in Loughton, Essex, thought to be connected to Terry Glover who was currently wanted for questioning. Credit: PA

School in mourning as flowers left in memory

Head teacher Helen Gascoyne said the school had been “devastated” by the death of one of its students and that pupils would be offered counselling on Tuesday.

Speaking on Tuesday morning, the school's Executive Head Teacher Christian Cavanagh said the "young man was liked and loved by staff and students".

He added the school would consult with the child's "family and the school community to decide how best to commemorate his life".

Mr Cavanagh continued that Debden Park would be open on Tuesday for pupils to attend and "support each other" if they wished, and that counsellors would be available.

Students paid tribute to the boy at the start of the school day, leaving flowers outside the school gate.

Louise, whose daughter tutored the boy who lost his life, said he was "a very lovely boy".

"He was very shy but he was trying very well at school."

She continued: "It's very sad, very emotional...the poor family just before Christmas".

Jack Barnes, brother to 15-year-old Alfie Barnes who was hit by the car, told ITV News: "I get a phone call from my mum out the blue just going, have you heard about the news?

"I was like, I heard something happened and then she was like Alfie was one of the guys."

Jack Barnes went on to describe that his brother "heard a car revving behind him" before he was hit.

Although Alfie is home from hospital, Jack has expressed his concern for his brother's mental health.

He added: "Physically it's not as severe but mentally I think it's going to be something that stays with him for a while."

Police remained in place along Willingale Road on Tuesday after erecting a cordon on Monday evening.

The cordon began metres from the entrance to the school, near the junction of Jessel Drive, and an officer was going door-to-door in the streets nearby.

Armed police could be seen outside a home on the corner of Newmans Lane and Hatfields in Loughton, where neighbours said Glover lived alone.

Flowers and stuffed animals have been left for the boy killed, named locally as Harley Watson. Credit: PA
  • Essex Police is continuing to investigate the circumstances around yesterday’s incident and have stablished a section on the policing portalwhere any information or footage can be submitted
  • Alternatively contact 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111