Tributes paid to youngster killed in collision with car

'A GOOD KID': Reece Whitehead
'A GOOD KID': Reece Whitehead
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Tributes have been paid to a 14-year-old boy who died after a car collided with his bike in Preston.

Police said the crash happened at 10.15pm on Tuesday, when a silver BMW 5 series travelling east along New Hall Lane towards Brockholes Brow collided with the teenager, named locally as Reece Whitehead, on a bike near the junction with Cairnsmore Avenue.

Reece, believed to have been a pupil at Larches House School, suffered serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital, but died in the early hours of 
yesterday morning.

The road was closed for four hours while investigations took place, and police markings could still be seen on the road yesterday, along with a sign appealing for witnesses.

One resident of Cairnsmore Avenue, who asked not to be named, said: “There was this bang and when I looked there were people around this lad in the road.

“Other drivers had stopped and there was someone passing from the Army who looked like he knew what he was doing with first aid, trying to help before the ambulance got there.”

He added: “It’s awful news. It’s not an accident hotspot, I wouldn’t say, but you do get kids on bikes going to the garage and to houses, and you wonder if it will take something like this to teach people to look out for one another on the roads.”

Reece’s cousin, 19-year-old Kane Holmes, was at the scene yesterday morning with friends Lance Holmes, 21, and Kieran Reilly, 17, to lay flowers and a candle at the scene.

Kane said it was his bike that Reece, from the Faringdon Park area of Preston, was riding when he was hit.

He said: “He was a good kid. He was just a normal teenager – into computers and a good laugh. It’s not sunk in, it doesn’t seem real.”

He added: “We’re all friends, like a big family where we live, so when one person heard there’d been an accident it went round in about 30 seconds and we all came down. His mum and dad were there right away.

“None of us has slept, we’re absolutely heartbroken. We can’t imagine what his mum and dad and two little brothers are feeling like.

“We’d just like to say to Reece, RIP bro, you’re gone but not forgotten. Rest easy.”

They said Reece leaves behind dad Jamie, mum Helen, and two younger brothers.

Lancashire Police confirmed the male driver of the BMW stopped at the scene and was spoken to by police, but was not arrested.

Sgt Gareth Hill, of the Road Policing Unit, said: “This was a tragic incident where a teenager has sadly died and I would appeal for anyone who witnessed this collision or who has any information to contact us.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 1540 of August 26.