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POLICE have issued a fresh appeal for witnesses, after a 12-year-old schoolboy died following a collision in Loughton.
In a statement issued by Essex Police this afternoon, December 3, the force said it was investigating an earlier incident and whether it was connected.
The boy, Harley Watson, died and several other people were injured after a car was involved in a collision with a group of people outside Debden Park School in Willingale Road yesterday afternoon.
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.
“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.”
Police confirmed that it was now investigating an incident around 10 minutes earlier.
Police have now received reports of a car mounting the pavement near Roding Valley High School in Alderton Hill, Loughton, at roughly 3.20pm yesterday, December 2.
DCI Rob Kirby, senior investigating officer, said: “The incident near Roding Valley High School, believed to have happened in Brook Road, was reported to us after it became widely known we were dealing with a serious collision in Willingale Road.
“Our investigations have led us to establish that there may be connections between that incident and the one which led us to establish a murder investigation.
“I am appealing for anyone who witnessed that incident to contact my team.
“I would also like to hear from anyone who saw a silver Ford KA travelling through Loughton between 2.40pm and 3.45pm yesterday, particularly if you have any CCTV or dash cam footage.”
In this afternoon’s statement, Chief Superintendent Tracey Harman said: “The events of yesterday in Willingale Road have seen trauma and distress brought to the community after a 12-year-old boy was killed and a number of people injured following a collision with a car.
“I have seen first-hand the impact this incident has had locally and we continue to progress this live investigation, which has seen a 51-year-old man arrested on suspicion of a number of offences, including murder.
“We are examining a number of enquiries, including where there has been previous contact between Essex Police and the man we have arrested.
“I would continue to urge anyone who has any information, please come forward and speak to us.”
A 51-year-old man was arrested in a vehicle in the car park of the Merry Fiddler pub in Fiddlers Hamlet at 11pm last night, December 2.
DCI Kirby said: “I am keen to establish the journey the car took from Willingale Road to the car park of the Merry Fiddler pub. Again, if you have any CCTV or dash cam footage, please contact us.”
Anybody with information can call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555111.
CCTV or dash cam footage can be sent straight to the police online by visiting mipp.police.uk
Force refers itself to IOPC
Essex Police has voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) based on previous contact between the force and a 51-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder and other offences in connection with a collision which happened in Willingale Road, Loughton, on Monday 2 December.
A police spokesman said: “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.”