Dylan Crossey: On the fifth anniversary of his death, a new appeal for information about the fateful night is launched
Five years ago tonight, 15-year-old Dylan Crossey was fatally injured in a hit-and-run.
He died hours later at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after his mother Tracey switched off his life support machine.
For five years she has fought for justice for her boy; but still has no death certificate and no answers over what really happened on that fateful night in Chain House Lane, Whitestake at 11pm on October 7, 2016.
Two weeks ago, a long-awaited inquest into the events was sensationally stopped by Coroner Dr James Adeley who batted the case back to Lancashire Police to investigate as possible manslaughter against BMW driver David Harwood.
>>>Click here to read what happened at the inquest.
The original Crown Court case against Harwood on a charge of causing death my dangerous driving collapsed three years ago due to a lack of evidence.
And so, on this tragic anniversary, Dylan’s mum wants to know, “what do you know?”
She said: “We need as much information as possible. What did you see? What haven’t you said?”
Family lawyer Sefton Kwasnik said: “Can you find it within yourself?
“Did you see something that night that has been ignored, or hasn’t been investigated?
“Can anybody remember seeing a silver BMW that afternoon or evening? If you know Mr Harwood, did you see him that day in and around the local community?”
He added: “We know that day there was a beer festival at New Longton Cricket Club - that might help people remember. And we know that Mr Harwood had been in the Farmers’ Arms. Were you there too? Do you remember anything?
“We’ve also heard there was a taxi near the scene of the crash, and a red and white car stationary at the traffic lights at the junction with Penwortham Way at around the time Mr Harwood would have been there. Anyone with information on these vehicles, please come forward.”
Tracey, who lives in Buckshaw Village, said she feels “numb” talking about Dylan’s death, as if she hasn’t grieved properly for his loss.
She said: “Until that Wednesday, when David Harwood stood and spoke at the inquest, I’ve always felt like he (Dylan) was coming home.
“I haven’t grieved, I didn’t want to believe that he’s dead. I always look for him when I’m out and think I see him. I think that one day he’s just going to walk into the room because he’s got back off holiday.”
Tracey says the reconstruction of the fatal accident - ordered as part of the inquest - has set her backwards.
In order to make the scene as realistic as possible, the car that hit Dylan was tracked down, the bike he was using was restored, streetlights were restored to bulbs that were used in 2016, and Tracey had to buy clothes the same as Dylan was wearing that night, to give to the actor.
>>>Read about the dramatic findings of the reconstruction here.
She said: “We went and watched it. We stood there all night, till 3am on Chain House Lane.
“I saw the BMW and it was all mended, I thought it would be how I’d seen it in pictures, all smashed up, but it looked like new.
“The bike was mended. Everything was mended, and I was frozen in time for a split second. I just thought Dylan was going to be there, because everything else was mended.”
Tracey says Dylan’s close friends are also still struggling with his death five years on, and they are a reminder to her of what he is missing out on.
She said: “Lots of his friends have an issue with the injustice of it all.
“I’m still in touch with them all, and their mums. The kids have not been offered any proper counselling, and we’ve never had any justice.”
She added: “Seeing those guys now as men...it’s heartbreaking. As time moves on, it’s like I’m missing out on all the things Dylan would have done.”
Tracy describes Dylan - who was on the cusp of turning 16 - as “a good lad who never brought any trouble to my door”.
She said the All Hallow’s pupil rode his bike 18 miles every day from her house in Buckshaw Village to school in Penwortham, and is convinced he wouldn’t have been riding dangerously when he was hit.
Dylan and his friend Charles Hodson had been out on their bikes in the Longton area on the night of the accident, and were making their way back to Charles’ house, where Dylan was to stay over for the night.
>>>Click here to read evidence from Dylan's best friend.
Tracey said: “This is a little boy, going home for a pizza, dead. Innocent people, dead.
“It’s heartbreaking to know the things I’ve had to go through to fight for Dylan, the emotional rollercoaster.
“But I’ve always said that I will do this so that no other family has to go through what I’ve been through.”
Dylan, who was an A-grade pupil, wanted to make a career out of football, or be a barrister if that football didn’t work out.
Tracy said: “He was so clever at school, and he was so funny. He made everyone laugh because he’d come out with some really silly things.
“He was mischievous, but he’d do anything for anybody. He was like the man of the house - he wasn’t the average teenager - he’d help me a lot. He’d look after me, he’d bring me a brew, deliver my tea when I worked late, did all the washing up. He never was one ounce of trouble.”
Tomorrow, on the anniversary of his death, Tracy will return to the scene of the accident and lay flowers at 11pm.
She said: “I hate it, it’s horrible. It’s my birthday on October 4 and I never feel I can celebrate it any more because I know that Dylan’s anniversary is coming a few days later.”
If you want to report something you know about the circumstances of Dylan’s death, contact Sefton Kwasnik on 0161 8320050 and ask for Sefton, stating it is regarding the Crossey case. Alternatively, contact Lancashire Police.