Protesters block road near King’s Lynn Mart, where three-year-old Rio died after he was hit by a car
21:38 18 February 2012
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They linked arms across King Street, as the man who comforted the dying boy called for roads around the fair to be closed to traffic to avoid another tragedy.
Neon lights blazed and music blared from the rides on Saturday night, as they staged a short but symbolic protest beside the balloons and flowers left in memory of the little boy.
“It’s a cold night but I think we’ve done well,” said Paul Macey, the teaching support worker from King’s Lynn who organised the 10-minute blockade. “The Mart’s quieter than it usually is on a Saturday night.
“Police have been very sympathetic and understanding of people’s feelings. They haven’t interfered.
“People have given up 15 or 20 minutes of their time. I hope that the council will do the right thing and get the road closed off to all traffic.”
Police allowed protesters to make their point, stopping cars before they reached the blockade to avoid a confrontation.
More than 3,000 people have signed an online petition calling for King Street to be closed while the Mart is in progress for the last two weeks of February on the nearby Tuesday Market Place. Around 50 took part in the protest.
So far, the identity of the boy has not been officially confirmed, but he has been widely named as Rio on social networking websites and is understood to have come from the Lowestoft area.
Mr Macey, 50, was one of the first on the scene of the accident, which happened at 5.30pm on Wednesday, when the boy was involved in a collision with a blue Audi A4 between the Globe Hotel and Prezzo.
“I was on the way to the Globe with Theresa, my wife, to have a meal,” he said. “There was a vehicle stopped on the corner, I could see the lad in the road.”
Mr Macey said he knelt down beside the boy and felt for a pulse.
“I put my hand out to see if I could obtain a pulse in his wrist,” he said. “I couldn’t obtain anything. I just stayed until the police medic arrived.”
Officials from West Norfolk council, Norfolk County Council, the Mart and police met on Thursday to discuss the accident.
In statements afterwards, both councils said they would await the findings of the police investigation and the inquest into the boy’s death, before deciding what lessons could be learned.
“The Mart is not at fault here,” Mr Macey said. “It’s the council, for not shutting the road.”
Police are still appealing for any witnesses who have not come forward to contact them by calling 101.