Tragic Death of Five-Year-Old Boy Crushed by Van; Disqualified Driver Found Guilty

Tragic Death of Five-Year-Old Boy Crushed by Van; Disqualified Driver Found Guilty

In a heart-wrenching incident, a five-year-old boy met a tragic end when he was crushed under the wheels of a van while attempting to tie his shoelaces.

The devastating incident occurred on August 24, 2020, in Fenham, Newcastle, and has since been subject to a trial where the van’s disqualified driver, Darren Jacques, 40, was found guilty of causing the death of young Layton Darwood.

A Fateful Trip for Sweets

On that fateful day, Layton, accompanied by three other children, had embarked on a simple errand to purchase sweets and picnic supplies from a nearby shop.

The group’s elder member possessed a bank card, making the expedition an exciting adventure for the children.

However, the innocent outing took a tragic turn when Jacques, the van’s driver, pulled up on a kerb and hurried into the store to purchase alcohol.

A Fatal Turn of Events

CCTV footage captured the sequence of events that led to the devastating accident.

As Jacques exited the shop and returned to his van, Layton and the other children were nearby.

Tragically, as Jacques began to move his vehicle, Layton fell to the ground and found himself caught under the trailer’s wheels.

The outcome was fatal, and it was suggested during the trial that Layton’s shoelaces might have played a role in the tragic accident.

The Legal Proceedings and Guilty Verdict

Darren Jacques, hailing from Hutton Hill, Penrith, Cumbria, faced charges of causing death by driving while disqualified and stood trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

After due deliberation, a jury comprising 12 individuals reached a verdict of guilt on Jacques.

Expert Testimony Highlights Negligence

During the trial, Sergeant Alan Keenleyside, a Forensic Collision Investigator for Northumbria Police, provided expert testimony.

He expressed the opinion that Jacques was aware of the children’s presence and should have exercised greater caution while moving his vehicle.

Grief and Justice

The aftermath of the accident was marked by profound grief and loss, articulated in a statement issued by Layton’s mother, Stephany, on behalf of the family.

She described Layton as a loving and joyful child with a bright future cruelly cut short.

While acknowledging the bittersweet nature of the verdict, she expressed gratitude for the unwavering determination of her family and Northumbria Police in seeking justice for Layton.

Acknowledgment of Police Efforts

Sergeant Russell Surrey of Northumbria Police, who led the case, acknowledged the devastating impact of Layton’s loss on his family.

He praised their strength and resilience throughout the investigation and court proceedings, expressing hope that the verdict could provide a degree of closure for the family.

Sentencing Awaits

In light of the guilty verdict, Judge Adams deferred sentencing and ordered a pre-sentence report.

Darren Jacques, warned to anticipate an immediate custodial sentence, was granted bail until his next court appearance, with a provisional sentencing date set for Monday, December 4.

Commentary on a Tragic Loss

The tragic loss of Layton Darwood serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of reckless driving, particularly when coupled with a disregard for legal disqualifications.

The legal proceedings and the guilty verdict represent a step toward accountability for the negligent actions that led to this heartbreaking incident.

As sentencing approaches, the hope is that justice will be served while the family of Layton continues to grapple with their profound grief.

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

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