The mother of a boy who died following a road crash at Walsall this week has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and of a separate driving offence.
Harry Dunn, four, died on Tuesday morning after his mother’s car collided with a van in Sussex Road, Walsall. It was reported that the mother, Anne Sacoolas, 44, had driven into the back of the van, which was being driven by a man and a woman.
Lancashire police said Sacoolas was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident after a short period of time. The force said on Tuesday night that she was continuing to be questioned at a police station in Lancashire.
A Lancashire police spokesman said in a statement: “Lancashire Constabulary was contacted by officers investigating the death of a four-year-old boy in Walsall, on 2 August 2017.
“Following investigation, at 2.30pm on Tuesday, Anne Sacoolas, 44, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident after a short period of time. She is continuing to be questioned at a police station in Lancashire.”
The incident happened in the town centre at about 10.20am when Dunn’s mother, Karen Holt, was driving him and three other children, aged six, two and one, on their way to a school party in Bromley Road.
Holt was travelling on Sussex Road when her white Citroen C4 minivan collided with the back of a red Mini Cooper, police said. The force added that the boy was seriously injured and died later at the Royal Brompton hospital.
Holt told a local newspaper on Tuesday that she knew little about what had happened and was “just in a state of shock”.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands police said: “At about 10.30am on Tuesday, 17 August, police were called to Sussex Road, Walsall following reports that a woman and three children had been involved in a road traffic collision.
“When officers arrived, they found a van that had been involved in the collision, and a minivan. An ambulance and rapid response vehicle attended. A four-year-old boy was later pronounced dead at the scene.”
People on social media expressed disbelief at Dunn’s death, which happened so close to the start of the Labour party conference. The council leader in Bromley, Tashi Patel, said his thoughts were with Harry’s parents and described him as “a delightful young boy”.
Holt and Dunn’s father, Keith, said on Tuesday evening that their lives were “turned upside down”. They said the children were “in a state of shock”.
Keith Dunn, a civil engineer, said: “Like any dad or mother, I am absolutely devastated. I lost my son as well as my other two children.
“Harry was a lovely boy, a very good boy, he was really lovely, liked to make his dad laugh and play around with his wee brother.
“Anne was in shock as she has lost her only son.”
Tashi Patel, the council leader, said in a statement on Tuesday evening: “The loss of a child is nothing short of devastating and it is with the deepest sympathy that the entire Bromley community expresses our profound sadness at the loss of this young life.
“Wearing nothing but a jacket, this young boy was in a van when he was hit by the minivan and later died in hospital.
“The grieving families have received amazing support from the surrounding community, and this will continue.
“I am proud of the fantastic work of my colleagues in Bromley council to ensure our emergency services and social services are available to these children, as well as the emergency services, in this very difficult time.”