The grieving family of a 12-year-old boy knocked down and killed on his way home from school have paid tribute to the people who tried save his life.
Matthew Hayes was making his way home from The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Sunderland, when he was struck by the Go North East bus near the Ryhope Street South Asda at 3.30pm on Friday.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a short statement, the family said: “We would like to thank all the people who tried to save Matthew’s life on Friday.
“We know there were a lot of people at the scene, including Matthew’s schoolfriends, members of the public and all the emergency services. We know everyone did their best to try and save Matthew.”
Meanwhile his headteacher Gill Booth said everyone at the school was still coming to terms with the loss.
“This is a tragedy and the academy family of staff, students, governors and parents are devastated to learn of Matthew’s death,” he said. “We are a very close-knit school community and we are all in shock at the loss of such a young life.”
Archdeacon of Sunderland Stuart Bain, the school’s chair of governors, said support would be put in place to help any staff or pupils who need it.
“We are putting plans in place to support our students and staff on Monday morning,” he said.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and we offer them our prayers and deepest sympathy at this sad time.”
On Ryhope Street South, floral tributes have been left next to the road by family and friends – including a heartbreaking letter from the 12-year-old’s older sister Rehanna, and a card from his mum and dad.
Chief Inspector George Maratty of Northumbria police said: “This is a deeply tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy who died.
Specialist officers are carrying out inquiries to establish exactly what has happened and specially trained officers are supporting the family of the boy.
Any witnesses should call Northumbria on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 699 22/11/13.