Boy, 12, ‘may have tripped’ over road death under investigation

image source, Family document

image caption, Harrison Palmer died after being hit by a van in Pool in March 2023

A 12-year-old schoolboy may have tripped and hit a lorry while crossing a road with other youngsters, an inquest heard.

Harrison Palmer, from Camborne, Cornwall, was pronounced dead at the scene after being hit by a van in Pool in March 2023.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of death as a result of a traffic collision.

Harrison’s mother, Natalie Buckland, said the death had “had a huge impact on the lives of everyone who knew and loved him”.

image caption, The inquest heard Harrison may have tripped and hit himself while crossing a road with other youths

The hearing in Truro was told the boys had gone into town after school because a football practice had been cancelled.

The boys ran towards the central reservation island on the A3047 Agar Road but Harrison did not stop and continued running and was hit by a lorry in the opposite lane.

Driver Kelvin Fulcher was arrested at the scene but no further action was taken against him.

He was recorded driving 26 mph (42 km/h) along the 30 mph (48 km/h) road, according to the investigation.

Mr Fulcher said he knew four children were crossing towards the central reservation and he “heard a thud” as he drove past and stopped.

“It wasn’t a very nice feeling – I don’t know if he fell or tripped. I guess he must have tripped,” he said.

Mr Fulcher tested negative for drink and drugs and was not using his mobile phone at the time of the collision.

The inquest heard that his truck had some minor defects, but these did not cause or contribute to the accident.

Witnesses said they thought the boys were sprinting at the time.

Senior Coroner for Cornwall, Andrew Cox, said Harrison did not stop at the traffic island and continued without looking, or because he was going too fast to stop halfway.

“Lost Without Him”

Ms Buckland said Harrison was “always so cautious in crossing roads, stopping and checking several times without crossing if a vehicle was in sight even in the distance”.

She said: “I think that makes it harder to understand.

“Every aspect of our lives has been affected and turned upside down. Our hearts will always be broken and we are all so lost without him.”

Harrison’s family said his death affected his school, friends, truck driver, emergency services and those who helped them at the scene.

His family praised the “incredible work our emergency services are doing”.

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