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Mother of boy killed in North Wales crash describes ‘gutwrenching’ feeling | UK News

The mother of one of the boys who died in a car crash in North Wales has told other parents to “hold your loved ones tight” in a tribute to her son.

Harvey Owen, 17, was found in a silver Ford Fiesta in Snowdonia (Eryri) on Tuesday with friends Wilf Fitchett, Jevon Hirst and Hugo Morris, who are aged between 16-18.

They were reported missing from an overnight camping trip, which sparked an urgent police search until they were found in an overturned car, which was partially in water off the A4085 at Garreg, near Tremadog.

Harvey’s mother, Crystal Owen, said it is “unbearable to think” he will always be 17 and “even harder to accept”.

‘Please hold your loved ones tight’

“There is never a time to lose a child but this feels so much more gut wrenching as he was literally thriving in life and had everything to live for,” she added.

“Please hold your loved ones tight, all the minor things we worry about are irrelevant, life is so short and can be so cruel.

“I’ve lost my boy, the boy I absolutely adored, and I can’t accept that I won’t be able to hold him again or tell him I love him again.”

Superintendent Owain Llewellyn, from North Wales Police, said earlier this week the crash appeared to be a “tragic accident” but that the investigation into why the car left the road is ongoing.

Read more:
‘Touching to see so many pay respects’ to four boys killed
Mother describes ‘nightmare’ after son among four teenagers found dead

Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris have been reported missing
Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris had been reported missing

In an update on Wednesday, he said officers were now being assisted by members of the North West Underwater Search Team and that the road would remain closed in the meantime.

Harvey leaves behind an older sister, Yasmin, whom Crystal said he “idolised” growing up, and two younger sisters, Olivia and Sophia, whom he was “never too old” to hug.

‘Forever a son we can be proud of’

“From the moment Harvey was born, he was special, a truly longed for baby who made me feel so complete and a much-wanted sibling for Yasmin,” Crystal said.

“Laid back, charismatic, cheeky, a boy not of his time, he always thought outside the box, he was creative and funny. A boy that preferred to be outside and active.”

Crystal described him as “quirky, a trendsetter, loving, pure and hilarious” while also being “so dopey at times” but too “lovable” to stay mad at for long.

He dreamt of one day owning his own café, Crystal said, having recently developed a passion for working with bread.

“He never caused ill will, he did no harm, he wronged nobody, he was and will forever be a son we can be proud of,” Crystal added.

“Harvey was perfect when he came into the world and he will go out that way.”

Mother describes ‘nightmare’ after son among four teenagers found dead in North Wales | UK News

The mother of one of the four teenagers found dead after a car crash in North Wales has said she wishes she could wake from her “nightmare”.

Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris – all aged 16, 17 and 18 – were found in a silver Ford Fiesta in Snowdonia (Eryri) on Tuesday, after they were reported missing from an overnight camping trip.

An urgent search operation was launched by police, who found their bodies inside the overturned car, after it left the A4085 at Garreg, near Tremadog, and was partially submerged in water.

Crystal Owen, Harvey’s mother, wrote on Facebook: “I feel like I’m in a nightmare I wish I could wake up from but I’m not.

“I just wanted to say I do appreciate people’s kindness but no amount of messages is going to help me overcome this. Nothing will make this nightmare go away.”

In the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury, where the boys lived, the Trinity Churches parish said it would offer “time and space to pray” at the Trinity Centre in Meole Brace, from 9am on Wednesday.

Shrewsbury Abbey, meanwhile, is open all day for prayer, and Shrewsbury Colleges Group, where the boys were A-level students, offered “deepest condolences” to their family and friends.

A road has been closed by police near the village of Garreg
A road had been closed by police near the village of Garreg

Wilf’s girlfriend, Maddi Corfield, posted a tribute online for her “sweet angel”.

“I love you so much, I’m going to miss you forever,” she said.

“The sweetest and most loving boy I’ve ever known. I hope you know how much I love you, gorgeous.

“Thank you for all the time you’ve spent with me… thank you for loving me endlessly. I promise I’ll do the same for you, my sweet, sweet angel.”

Read more:
Car found in search for four teenagers on Snowdonia camping trip

She added: “I can’t imagine my world without you. I’m missing you so much already, but I am going to enjoy life the way you would’ve wanted, the way that you made me feel.”

Superintendent Owain Llewellyn, from North Wales Police, said the crash appeared to be a “tragic accident” but the investigation into why the car left the road is ongoing.

Dominic Cummings reveals when he will give evidence to COVID inquiry – as he describes ‘painful’ process | Politics News

Boris Johnson’s chief adviser during the coronavirus pandemic, Dominic Cummings, has said he will give evidence to the UK COVID-19 Inquiry later this month.

Mr Cummings used his latest Substack post to reveal he had been going through his statement with inquiry lawyers, describing the process as “painful”.

“I finally sent it in on Thursday. I give evidence on 31/10,” he wrote.

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Mr Cummings was Mr Johnson’s closest aide when the pandemic emerged, and the government was forced to defend him after he drove to County Durham beauty spot Barnard Castle during the first lockdown.

But he left Downing Street in November 2020 following infighting in No 10 and has since become a fierce critic of the former prime minister, suggesting he was indecisive in the response to coronavirus.

In his blog, Mr Cummings said he would eventually do a “post-evidence AMA (ask me anything)” on his and other people’s statements to the inquiry, but he had been asked not to write about it yet.

He also criticised the pace of the inquiry, which began this summer and has so far heard evidence from significant political figures, including former health secretary Matt Hancock and ex-prime minister David Cameron.

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie
Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie

The first part of the inquiry looked at the UK’s resilience and preparedness for a pandemic.

The second part of the public inquiry – which focuses on “core decision making and political governance” – started at the beginning of this month and will also see Mr Johnson give evidence.

The inquiry has already heard how Mr Johnson described long COVID as “b*******” and that his wife, Carrie, had been described as “the real person in charge” by the head of the UK’s civil service.

Scientific advisers have also given evidence, with Professor Stephen Riley telling the inquiry on Tuesday that there could have been fewer deaths if the UK went into the first lockdown two weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, Professor Neil Ferguson – whose COVID modelling was instrumental to the UK going into lockdown – denied stepping “over the line” and telling ministers they needed to shut down.

Read more:
Up to 200,000 people to be monitored for COVID this winter to track infection rates
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He said while he is “very much associated with a particular policy… the reality was a lot more complex”.

“I don’t think I stepped over that line to say: ‘We need to do this now’,” he said.

“What I tried to do was, at times – which was stepping outside the scientific advisory role – to try and focus people’s minds on what was going to happen and the consequences of current trends.”

M53 school bus crash: Survivor describes ‘shock’ and flashbacks after death of student Jessica Baker and driver Stephen Shrimpton | UK News

A teenager who was on the coach which overturned in a fatal crash on the M53 in Cheshire says he is “happy to be alive”.

Speaking to Sky News anonymously, he recalled how what started as a normal school day on Friday turned into a tragedy.

“We were all just chatting on our phones,” he said. “Then all of sudden, nothing seemed real. I stood up because I felt something really weird, then all of sudden getting thrown to the side. The bus had tipped.”

Jessica Baker, a 15-year-old pupil at West Kirby Grammar School and bus driver, Stephen Shrimpton, died after the vehicle overturned on the motorway on Friday morning.

Mr Shrimpton, 40, was “suffering medical issues” while at the wheel, his sister-in-law Emily wrote on a crowdfunding page.

Jessica Baker and Stephen Shrimpton
Jessica Baker and Stephen Shrimpton died in the crash

Police said 58 people were involved in the crash. Four children were taken to hospital, one of whom, a 14-year-old boy, is said to have sustained life-changing injuries.

Pupils from West Kirby Grammar School and Calday Grange Grammar School were onboard.

‘People lying down everywhere’

After the bus hit a central reservation, the teenager told Sky News he eventually managed to climb through the smashed front window, but says what he saw was distressing.

“I looked around and there’s just people lying down everywhere. Bags are everywhere,” the pupil said.

West Kirby all-girls grammar school.
Flowers left at West Kirby all-girls grammar school.

“There’s glass everywhere. And it’s just like blood everywhere. I’ve seen both my mates on the floor, but I thought they were dead.

“I looked around again and saw a girl stood next to me. I was in shock, I put my hand on my face. I looked back at my hand and it was covered in blood, I remember saying, this can’t be my blood.”

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Some of the students were eventually taken to nearby hospitals, while others were taken to an emergency services training centre in Wallasey, with 13 treated for minor injuries.

The pupil Sky News spoke to says he was certain no other students had died, so it came as a shock when he heard that Jessica had lost her life.

‘Just a horrible thing to think about’

The pair knew each other, and he described her as friendly.

“Obviously it could have been me in that position” he said. “She’s basically my age really, it’s just a horrible thing to think about.”

Emergency services at the scene of a coach crash on the M53 motorway, between junction 5 at Ellesmere Port and junction 4 at Bebbington. The coach was carrying schoolchildren to Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School for Girls. Picture date: Friday September 29, 2023.

The teenager has been to A&E for his physical injuries but says the mental impact of what happened is causing flashbacks, including when in the car, and when there are sudden noises.

His overall feeling though, is that he is incredibly lucky.

“A couple of hours after it had happened, when I was sat upstairs. I’d realised it was crazy, I still don’t know how, like, I got up so quick and things like that and I don’t know how I wasn’t screaming, crying,” he added.

“I think I was subconsciously happy to be alive. Happy to be where I am now.”

Phil Spencer describes details of ‘horrendous’ car accident that killed both his parents | Ents & Arts News

TV presenter Phil Spencer has spoken out following the death of his parents in a car crash at their home, calling it “horrendous” but taking strength from the fact they were together when they died

Spencer’s father Richard, 89, and mother Anne, 82, both died following the accident at their farm in Kent on Saturday.

The Location, Location, Location star posted a message on Instagram, along with a recent photo of his mum and dad, paying tribute and describing the details of the crash.

He wrote: “Very sadly both of my amazing parents died on Friday.

“As a family we are all trying to hold onto the fact Mum and Dad went together and that neither will ever have to mourn the loss of the other one. Which is a blessing in itself.”

He went on to describe details of the crash, saying the car “toppled over a bridge” on their estate in Littlebourne, near Canterbury, and ended up “upside down in the river”.

Despite his parents being pulled from the vehicle, he said they “never regained consciousness”.

He said while both had been “on extremely good form in the days before” the accident, he said his parents were both suffering from health issues.

He wrote: “Mums Parkinson’s and Dads Dementia had been worsening and the long term future was set to be a challenge.”

He said that just a week ago his mother had told him, “now it looks like we will probably go together,” adding, “and so they did”.

The couple, who were on their way to a local pub to have lunch when the accident took place, were described as “both people of Christian faith” by Spencer’s Location co-host Kirstie Allsopp when she posted a tribute on Saturday.

Spencer’s message went on: “That was what God had planned for them – and it was a good plan”.

He went on to explain how the accident took place, writing: “The car, going very slowly, toppled over a bridge on the farm drive, upside down into the river.

“There were no physical injuries and I very much doubt they would have even fought it – they would have held hands under the water and quietly slipped away”.

He said the alarm was quickly raised by his parents’ carer – a woman in her 60s who was with them in the car at the time of the crash – and who managed to escape from the back window of the car.

Spencer said his older brother, David, stepped in to try to save his parents, but to no avail.

He wrote: “As many farmers do – my brother had a penknife and so was able to cut the seat belts – he pulled them out of the river but they never regained consciousness”.

Spencer concluded: “Although desperately sad and shocked beyond all belief – all family are clear that if there can ever be such a thing as having a “good end” – this was it.

“It feels horrendous right now, but after almost 60 years of marriage – to die together on the farm they so loved will, I know, be a comfort in the future.

“Mum Dad are together which is precisely where they would have wanted to be”.