Boy, 4, who was killed by car ran into road as mother pressed pelican crossing button, inquest hears

Youngster was left with ‘catastrophic injuries’ after crash, inquest hears

Emily Atkinson
Thursday 14 April 2022 18:34 BST
Agarwin Sasikaran
Agarwin Sasikaran (SWNS)

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A four-year-old boy was hit and killed by a car after running into the road at a pelican crossing because he was excited to get home for KFC, an inquest has heard.

Agarwin Sasikaran was standing with his six-year-old brother when his mother released his hand to press the button at the crossing, prompting him to rush into the road in front of a car doing 40mph.

The collision occurred at around 7pm on 11 October 2020, on Uxbridge Road, in Hayes, west London.

The youngster was left with “catastrophic injuries” around his head and torso and never regained consciousness.

The driver, Stacy Woolmore, was within the speed limit when the incident took place, and reacted within one second of Agarwin darting into the road by immediately swerving left in a bid to avoid the crash, the inquest heard.

Police officers investigating the horrific crash said it was “unavoidable” and found the driver had “made no mistake”.

Agarwin was treated by the roadside by a passing off-duty GP, who vaulted the barriers to help, while the driver of the car called emergency services.

The boy was then taken to St Mary’s Hospital, but he died of his injuries in the early hours of the following morning.

West London Coroner’s Court was told that Agarwin’s death happened due to the “unpredictability of children”.

Agarwin’s mother, Aklaya Sasikaran, gave a statement to police saying after making the children lunch at home, her son wanted popcorn chicken from KFC for dinner.

In summary of her statement, assistant coroner Ivor Collett said: “She told the children that they would take the food home rather than eat it at the KFC.

“They walked up to the crossing on Uxbridge Road. There was a green man for them until they got to the central reservation.

“Once they were on that island, she pressed the button to allow them to cross the second half of the road.

“She let go of Agarwin’s hand, still holding the Tesco bag, to press the button. He then ran out into the lane.”

In her desperation to retrieve her young son from the road, Aklaya broke her finger as she tried to grab him, the coroner said.

Meanwhile, Ms Woolmore said she was driving between 38 to 40 mph with her partner next to her when she reached the area of the pedestrian crossing and the lights were green.

Mr Collett, summarising her statement, said: “As she reached the crossing, the boy ran out in front of the car.

“She immediately swerved to the left to avoid a collision with the boy. She said he must have been one metre ahead of the mother.

“The mother tried to grab him but it was too late and the car struck the boy. Ms Woolmore then contacted emergency services.”

Detective Constable Dariusz Alexander investigated the case and examined CCTV to find the time between Agarwin running out onto the road and Ms Woolmore swerving to avoid him was within one second.

This was the reaction time the Metropolitan Police found to be a responsible amount of time for an “alert” driver, the inquest heard.

He told the court: “She reacted within one second of the pedestrian running out into the road and that CCTV footage shows there was no sufficient time for the vehicle to stop before the collision.

“The vehicle was travelling at 39 mph. At the point of the boy running into the road, the collision was unavoidable.

“It is my hypothesis Agarwin was eager to get home after visiting KFC with his mother and brother.”

Ms Woolmore was described by the coroner as “extremely remorseful” and said the death affected her immensely and needed specialist support.

DC Alexander added: “The family have been gravely affected and moved from London to elsewhere wanting a fresh start from this tragic incident.”

Mr Collett said: “This concerns the tragic accident on Sunday October 11, 2020.

“A young family was going out to enjoy KFC, a takeaway and that evening ended with this tragic outcome.

“Agarwin Sasikaran was a four-year-old boy holding his mother’s hand crossing the road with his brother.

“The family had safely reached the central reservation and so were going to wait until they were allowed to cross the rest of the road.

“This was a pedestrian crossing governed by traffic lights. His mother pressed the button to call for the lights to change.

“As she did that, Agarwin ran from her into the road. An oncoming car struck Agarwin before his mother could get hold of him even though she tried.

“Agarwin suffered very serious injuries and never recovered consciousness. He received highly specialist treatment both at the roadside and at the hospital.

“The injuries, particularly to his brain, were not such that could be survived. After specialist surgical opinion, the decision was taken that he could not be actively treated. He died at around 2.30am in the morning hours after the accident.”

The coroner confirmed through the “extremely thorough” report that the “driver had made no mistake”.

Mr Collett added: “This terrible accident happened because children can sometimes behave unpredictably.

“Mrs Sasikaran will never be able to forget that terrible evening but I want her to know that it is absolutely clear that there is nothing she could have done to avoid what happened. Children do behave in these impulsive ways..”

The conclusion of the death was found to be severe traumatic brain injury caused by road traffic collision.

Paying tribute, Mr Collett said: “I want to send this court’s condolences to the family.

“I did not know their little boy, but it’s clear that his parents loved him very much.”

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