Sky filled with love for Ethan at community balloon release

A community’s support for Ethan Owens has been sent high and wide as more than a hundred balloons were released in his name.

The nine-year-old died just over a week after he was hit by a car on Marina Way.

Ethan Owens balloon launch at Grayfields centre.

Ethan Owens balloon launch at Grayfields centre.

Tonight, his family, friends and school pals gathered to show he is in their thoughts with a minute’s silence, followed by a release of blue balloons into the sky.

Among those to join the gathering at Grayfields was Ethan’s brother, Jordan Cooper, 20.

He said: “It’s good to see how many people came and it’s nice to know they care.

“If Ethan had been here he would have been laughing and loving all the attention.”

There’s been a huge turn out and it’s good to see the community come together to support his family.

Marie Thomson

Ethan’s gran Margaret Cooper, 62, was also among family to attend and sent her thanks to all those who have shown their respects to the Jesmond Gardens Primary School pupil.

Ethan’s great-aunt Marie Thomson, 36, was among the organisers and said: “There’s been a huge turn out and it’s good to see the community come together to support his family.

Alison Johnson, 38, helped bring together the event, with her daughter Lauren Horley, 22, setting up the Facebook page which put out the call to spread the word.

Alison said: “I thought it was something nice for Ethan’s mum Lisa because I’ve been her friend since school and lived next door to her.

People of all ages gathered together for the event.

People of all ages gathered together for the event.

“They’ve thanked us for doing it and it’s brilliant to see such a good turn out.”

Helen Dawson, 33, who was brought up in the Dyke House area, took her stepchildren Codie Young, 10, Bobbie Young, eight, and her daughter Connie Young, one, along with her partner David Young, 33, and his parents John, 58, and Tracey, 53.

She said: “I’m a teacher at Dyke House School, so I know some of his family and Bobbie knows Ethan.

“We wanted to show our respects as part of the community.

“I know how important it is to the children and it’s amazing to see so many people.”

Ethan, one of seven children, was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital with serious injuries after the incident on Monday, February 27.

His parents Lisa Cooper, 37, and Paul Owens, 36, were by his bed as he was cared for, with a candle lit vigil held at St Oswald’s Church the night after the collision.