A boy of 12 who died when he was hit by a lorry as he walked home from school was named today as Jack Garrington.
Paramedics desperately tried to revive the Shire Oak Academy pupil after he was knocked down in Brownhills, but he died at the scene. The 61-year-old driver of the lorry was today helping police with their inquiries.
Today, principal Gary Crowther said: "This is a shattering loss for our academy. Jack was quiet but determined to do well and he had settled in to his new school brilliantly.
"His teachers thought the world of him and so did his fellow pupils. Everyone knew that Jack didn’t enjoy standing out from the crowd but everyone also knew that a really lovely characteristic that Jack possessed was his keenness to be there for his friends, to be a truly good friend to others and to help and be kind to others whenever he could.
"We feel empty, we are at a loss to understand why such a tragedy should have happened and our thoughts and deepest sympathy are extended to Jack’s family."
The tragedy happened in Chester Road just before 3.30pm yesterday. The road was closed by police and reopened at around 7pm. An ambulance, rapid response paramedics and an air ambulance attended the scene but nothing could be done to save the boy.
Sgt Paul Hughes, from West Midlands Police’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This happened at a busy time of day on a busy road and we need anyone who witnessed this tragic incident to call me or one of my team.
“The family of the boy are currently being assisted by specialist officers at this sad time.”
Residents living on the road rushed to help the youngster, a pupil of Shire Oak Academy, before paramedics arrived.
A nurse from Sandwell Hospital who lives nearby was among the first to the scene and tried to resuscitate the boy.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “There wasn’t much we could have done. We were on our way back home from collecting the boys from school. I just saw the lorry and first response cars pulling in. It happened so quick.”
Walsall Wood Football Club held a minute’s silence for the boy before a 7.45pm kick-off at last night’s match against Rushall Olympic FC.
Walsall Wood FC director Justin Hodgin said afterwards: “We offer our condolences to the family. It’s very difficult when a child is so young and if there is anything we can do, we will.”
Retired project analyst David Moreton, aged 65, of Chester Road, said he arrived home to find police and paramedics in the street.
He said: “There’s a lot of kids that go up and down the street. It’s always a bit of a dodgy road because it’s downhill. There’s no crossings between the bollards here and the top, which to my mind is wrong. There should be a crossing somewhere.
“I see it time and time again, lots of close shaves, but we have never seen anybody actually hit, and certainly not killed. It’s just a tragedy. It’s a very sobering moment.”
Ambulance service spokesman Jamie Arrowsmith said crews were called to a pedestrian in collision with a lorry and arrived to find him in cardiac arrest.