Essex

A127 death: Protesters block road after boy, 13, hit by car

  • 17 February 2016
  • From the section Essex
Protest on A127 Image copyright DJ Allbury
Image caption The A127 in Essex was blocked by protestors for several hours

A dual carriageway was blocked by a "large protest" following the death of a 13-year-old boy who was hit by a car.

Joseph Sheridan was seriously hurt on the Southend-bound carriageway of the A127 in Basildon, Essex, at 20:00 GMT on Monday and died in hospital.

Up to 30 demonstrators blocked the road from just before 22:00 on Tuesday by parking two cars across the lanes.

One had writing scrawled across the side, saying: "We want a footbridge. How many more?"

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The 31-year-old driver of the BMW car involved in the crash, who is from Southend, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.

The protest meant the road was closed for about five hours.

Det Supt Stuart Hooper, of Essex Police, said officers were "heavily engaged with the community" in the area. But he said police had no information to suggest the protest was going to take place.

Joseph was hit by a car near the junction with Oak Lane, a private road off the Southend-bound carriageway, which leads to the former Dale Farm travellers' site.

Signs on the A127 warn: "Do not cross. Fatal accident site." Drivers are also warned about pedestrians crossing. The signs were installed in 2003 after a woman and 16-year-old girl were hit by a car and killed.

The Mayflower Retail Park of shops and fast food outlets is off the opposite carriageway.

A petition has been set up after Joseph's death and calling for a pedestrian crossing.

Essex County Council is "urgently reviewing the safety measures" on the road.

Council leader David Finch said: "Earlier today our engineers visited the site to consider all the available options for improving safety along this stretch of dual carriageway."

He added the council would be speaking to residents over the coming days.

Police said they would like to hear from drivers with dashboard cameras which may have captured footage of events leading up to the accident.

Image copyright James Cottis
Image caption Police did not make any arrests at Tuesday night's protest
Image copyright DJ Allbury
Image caption Protesters parked cars across the carriageway near to where Joseph Sheridan was hit by a car
Image copyright Google
Image caption The A127 near Oak Lane does not have a crossing

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