Tributes to popular schoolboy in fatal crash

PUBLISHED: 11:38 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 May 2010

Floral tributes at the scene of the accident

Floral tributes at the scene of the accident

SCHOOL pupils held a minute s silence this week in memory of a teenager who died following a road accident. James Marshall, 16, of Bedford Road, Hitchin, died in London s Royal Free Hospital on Thursday last week, five days after suffering severe head inj

SCHOOL pupils held a minute's silence this week in memory of a teenager who died following a road accident.

James Marshall, 16, of Bedford Road, Hitchin, died in London's Royal Free Hospital on Thursday last week, five days after suffering severe head injuries in a car crash.

James, a sixth form pupil at The Priory School, was a back seat passenger in a Honda Civic that crashed near the roundabout at the junction of Baldock Road and Avenue One in Letchworth GC.

The car flipped over after colliding with the kerb and crashed through a fence coming to rest on its roof in undergrowth.

James and another passenger were cut from the rear of the vehicle by firefighters from Hitchin and Baldock.

The two front seat passengers suffered only minor injuries.

After being taken to QE II Hospital at Welwyn Garden City, James' condition deteriorated and he was transferred to the Royal Free Hospital where he died.

Peter Loach, headteacher of The Priory School, who will be reading a lesson at James' funeral today (Thursday) at St Mary's Church, Hitchin, said: "He had recently joined our sixth form and those who knew him closely said he had a lovely sense of humour and had a wide group of friends.

"His friends and the school have been very deeply shocked by his sudden death."

A book of condolence has been opened at the school for pupils to register their tributes which will be presented to James' family.

At the funeral the choir will sing a number of hymns and pupils and staff who knew him will also be in attendance.

A close friend of James said: "It is a very sad time for all his friends and family. I only saw him the day before. When I got told about it I thought it was someone playing a sick joke but later I found out the truth. He was such a kind and loving boy who was very popular."

This week police renewed their appeal for witnesses to the accident to contact them.

Police want to speak to two men who went to help the injured teenagers in the car, which was being driven by a 19-year-old youth from Hitchin.

Both are white. One is described as aged about 30, 5ft 10ins tall and of medium build with thick, dreadlock hair. He was wearing a red T-shirt, cargo jeans and had a South African or Australian accent.

The other man was around 25 years old, 5ft 1in tall, slim with short black hair. He was wearing dark jeans and a black T-shirt.

Pc Jackie Reynolds who is investigating the accident said: "We have already had a number of potential witnesses come forward. But we are keen to trace two men who came and helped at the scene.

"They will know who they are and I would be very keen to speak to them as they may have vital information."

The two men and any other witnesses should contact Pc Reynolds at the eastern area road policing unit on 01438 757655.

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