Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Restraint urged over crash driver

Police have asked for restraint on social media following a car crash which left two teenage boys dead and two others in a critical condition in hospital.

Tributes have been paid to George Wharton, 14, and Rhys Baker, 13, who died on Saturday night when the blue Peugeot they were in crashed on the A62 Gelderd Road, in Morley, Leeds.

Two other teenagers, Kameron Walters, 14, and 15-year-old Joshua Van Veen, remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital following the collision and the driver of the car - a 21-year-old man - is also undergoing treatment for serious injuries, West Yorkshire Police said.

George was a pupil at Morley Academy and Rhys was studying at Bruntcliffe School. Today both schools paid tributes to the teenagers as scores of their friends visited the scene of the tragedy to lay flowers and console each other.

As the tributes mounted, West Yorkshire Police issued a warning, asking people commenting on social media about the fatal crash to "show restraint".

Officers said they have been made aware of derogatory comments about the 21-year-old man involved, who remains in hospital.

Superintendent Sam Millar said: "This has been an appallingly tragic incident and it is understandable that emotions will be running high. That said, we would ask people to think very carefully about the nature of any comments they make on social media in relation to this incident.

"A comprehensive police investigation is under way that will establish the full circumstances around the incident and ensure that any offences arising from it are appropriately dealt with. We would ask that people refrain from speculation and allow the investigation to take its course.

"We understand that people will be very upset about what has happened but we would also ask them to consider all of the families involved in this incident before they post comments which could add to the trauma they are going through at the moment."

The crash happened at about 1.50pm on Saturday when the boys are thought to have been picked up by the 21-year-old man without the permission of their parents.

Police said the Peugeot is believed to have overtaken another vehicle "at speed" before colliding with a tree on Gelderd Road near the Finning premises.

Dave Gurney, executive headteacher of Bruntcliffe School, said: "Our condolences go to the families of both the boys who lost their lives in this tragic accident.

"Rhys was a well-liked member of his year group and will be sadly missed by all staff and students at Bruntcliffe.

"Our thoughts are also with the other students who both remain in a critical condition in hospital. We hope they make a full recovery.

"This is a terrible tragedy and one which is being felt right across our whole school community and the wider community in Morley.

"We will be offering specialist support to students and staff in school, and will come together to support one another at this really difficult time."

Leanne Griffiths, principal of The Morley Academy said: " Our sincere condolences go to the families of both the boys who tragically lost their lives in this terrible accident.

"George Wharton was a popular boy with a bright future ahead of him and his loss will be felt profoundly by staff and students at The Morley Academy.

"Another of our students remains in a critical condition in hospital and we continue to pray for his recovery.

"This is a devastating tragedy, the effects of which are being profoundly felt within school and across the wider community in Morley.

"Specialist advisers will be on hand in the academy to support students and staff as we come together to support one another at this very difficult time."

Judith Blake, deputy leader and executive member for children and families at Leeds City Council, said: "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the young people involved in this terrible and tragic accident.

"We will be working with all schools affected to make sure that they have all the support they need for their students and staff at this very sad time.

"We will also work with the police to ensure that the families affected have all the support they need at this terribly difficult time."


From Belfast Telegraph