A devastated mum has paid a tearful tribute to her ‘beautiful’ eight-year-old son, killed after running out in front of a car.
Charlie Dukes suffered a fatal head injury after being struck by a van near an Asda store in Bosworth Drive, Chelmsley Wood, last November. The Bournville schoolboy died in hospital the next day.
At an inquest into the tragedy, his mother Elizabeth Dukes said the youngster was the most “beautiful, loving eight-year-old boy” she had ever met. She broke down in tears as it was revealed he died at Birmingham Children’s Hospital before the family could donate his organs. Charlie, who leaves behind twin brother Archie and older brother Jack, 12, was playing with one brother and his cousin on the day of the accident, on November 24.
Driver Darren Richardson told the inquest of the heartbreaking moment his Vauxhall Corsa hit Charlie. “I thought the boys had thrown something at the car. Then all of a sudden I saw Charlie... and I braked. I stopped the engine, got out of the car and took a few steps towards him. There were lots of people screaming and running towards him so I told them not to move him.” Steven Jubb, a senior forensic collision investigator for West Midlands Police, said a fence surrounding a pedestrian exit from the supermarket had hidden Charlie until moments before the collision. “There would have barely been enough time to start braking before Charlie had been hit,” he added. Witnesses said the driver had not been going faster than 30mph and would have been unable to see the schoolboy until too late.
Dr Louise Hunt, senior coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, recorded a narrative verdict that Charlie had died from a head injury after being involved in a road traffic collision. She said: “The police evidence I have heard is there was insufficient time for the driver to avoid the collision.”