Inquest opens into Stalham crash death

An inquest has been opened into the death of a teenager in a road accident close to Stalham High School.

Nineteen-year-old Ashton Brooks died when his Honda motorbike was in collision with a Mitsubishi pickup travelling in the same direction and then mounted the pavement.

Two girl pupils aged 14 and 15 were also hurt in the accident just after school finished, when the paths were full of scores of children from the high and junior schools.

On Monday Norfolk coroner William Armstrong opened the inquest into Mr Brooks' death and adjourned it to a late date for further inquiries to be carried out.

Floral tributes line the Old Yarmouth Road at the accident scene, including one from Ashton's mum which carries a message saying: 'To my darling boy. Cannot believe you have gone and left us all here. Miss you so much already and always will.'

Students at the high school have been given help to come to terms with the death of Mr Brooks, from St Mary's Road, who is a former pupil and whose younger brother Nathan 15 is still a Year 10 pupil there.

Head Melinda Derry said it was a 'quiet, sad day' at the school on the day after the crash.

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Counsellors were at the school all day and the there was a quiet room and a book of condolence for people who knew Ashton, she explained.

'The family has been to see us and we are being led by them about how we should do things.'

The accident happened at 3.20pm on Wednesday, 15 minutes after the school day finished. Teachers helped at the scene and reassured concerned students.

Some of the high school students had also helped keep the younger children away from the area. Emergency services called to the scene included the Norwich-based critical care car.

The counselling support for students was based on their own wishes, said Ms Derry, who added: 'They felt they wanted some time to think and reflect, but as far as possible children are in lessons as normal.'

One of the two injured girls escaped with cuts, bruises and shock, but the other had a suspected broken leg.

Police are appealing for witnesses who either saw the collision or the way the vehicles were driving before hand to contact PC Shane Shucroft on 0845 456 4567.