Coroner hears last moments of tragic boy

A five-year-old boy killed in a road accident as his father watched helpless might still be alive if bushes overhanging the road had been properly maintained, a coroner said yesterday.

A five-year-old boy killed in a road accident as his father watched helpless might still be alive if bushes overhanging the road had been properly maintained, a coroner said yesterday.

Kai Davies, of Goodhale Road, Bowthorpe, died on October 9 after being hit on a pedestrian crossing on Three Score Road after a fishing trip with his father.

An inquest at Norwich Coroners Court recorded a verdict of accidental death and found that Albert Watson, the driver, was not at fault. But deputy coroner Jacqueline Lake heard evidence that his view of the road had been obscured by foliage.

Work has since been carried out to clear the view but Kai's family said they will now consider taking legal action, although it was unclear last night whether maintenance of the greenery was the responsibility of the city or county councils or developer Wimpey Homes.

Mr Watson said: “I tried to swerve to avoid him but it was just too late. I just didn't see him because of the bushes.

“I would like to apologise to everyone concerned but I honestly believe there was nothing I could do and since then my life has been hell.”

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Earlier in the inquest Jason Davies, Kai's father, said the pair of them had been returning to their car. Kai had run ahead despite warnings not to cross the road on his own.

Mr Davies said: “Kai was ill and off school that day so we decided to go fishing. We were returning to the car and I had my hands full with the equipment. I tried to make him hold on to my finger as that was all I had free.

“As I turned the corner I saw him standing in the road, looking back at me and smiling. He had no idea a car was coming.”

Passers-by and paramedics made desperate attempts to resuscitate Kai but he died on arrival at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Police called to the scene noticed the overgrown bushes immediately. Within days the bushes had been cut back and later they were removed completely. Just weeks earlier a mother living nearby had complained after her son was hit at the same spot.

The inquest also heard that speed bumps had once been installed in the area to help enforce a 20mph speed limit which has since been increased to 30mph.

Mrs Lane said: “Had the bushes been cut back the collision may not have occurred.”

After the inquest Mr Davies described Kai as “my ray of sunshine”. He said his son - who suffered a rare genetic disorder which made him smaller than other children his age - was an intelligent child who loved football and fishing.

The family solicitor Mark Hambling said: “This was a tragic event which Mr and Mrs Davies believe could have been avoided. They will now consider their options.”