Seven-year-old boy killed by minibus named

A seven-year-old boy who died after being hit by a council minibus after school has been named.

Samuel Barker, from Monmouth, Wales, died at the scene about a mile from Osbaston Church in Wales School in Monmouth after the end of the school day on Monday.

On Tuesday his parents paid tribute to their “beloved son” and said they were “upheld and sustained by our faith in Jesus”.

The family said in a statement: “On 13th January 2020, our beloved son Samuel Barker, aged 7, tragically died in a road traffic accident.

“Samuel had a glowing personality and a lightly zany sense of humour. He was always on the move, a happy active child who loved toy cars, climbing trees, the great outdoors and especially skiing and ski lifts.

“As a family, we are upheld and sustained by our faith in Jesus. While we wish we might have had longer with Samuel, we know that he is now with the Lord Jesus Christ in eternal peace.

“Samuel himself had a real faith. Some months ago he wrote these words: ‘I trust in Jesus. I am so excited to go to heaven.’ We all look forward to seeing him there too.

“Samuel will be greatly missed by his school friends, his church family and most of all by his two adoring brothers, Mum and Dad, and very loving wider family.”

On Tuesday, Gwent Police said the minibus driver had been arrested.

A spokeswoman said: “Emergency services were called at around 3.40pm yesterday to reports of a road traffic collision between a minibus and a pedestrian on Hereford Road, A466, Monmouth.

“The pedestrian, a seven-year-old boy, sadly died at the scene. His family are being supported by specially trained officers.

“The driver of the minibus, a 45-year-old man from Gloucester, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving. He remains in police custody at this time.

“Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision or if anyone has dashcam footage from the area around the time of the collision to please contact us.”

A statement from head teacher Catherine Jones said the school was “coming to terms” with the loss of Samuel, who she described as “lively and always smiling”.

She said: “We are hugely saddened by the loss of our pupil. This lovely little boy was a huge part of the school life, lively and always smiling.

“The whole school community is coming to terms with this tragic news and we are holding our memories of a very popular little boy, full of character and energy.

“He will be missed by all of his friends with whom he loved playing tag and football. His family are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. He will be deeply missed by all.”

Paul Matthews, chief executive of Monmouthshire County Council, said: “This is just the very worst thing. The whole organisation has been rocked and finding words is so very hard.

“There will be much to do in the coming days and we will play our part to the best of our ability working closely with Gwent Police and other agencies.”

Council leader Peter Fox said: “I would like to offer deep and sincere condolences to the family and friends of this little boy from everyone associated with Monmouthshire County Council.

“It is just not possible to put into words how sad we feel. We are here to help and will be supporting the school, children and colleagues over the coming days and for as long as is necessary.”