A TREE near the spot where a 14-year-old schoolboy lost his life has been turned into a shrine in his memory by devastated pals.
Tragic Rhys Hewitt died in hospital on Wednesday night after being hit by a car as he crossed Brenda Road, near the Stagecoach bus depot.
Since his classmates were told the news by Michael Lee, headteacher at English Martyrs School & Sixth Form College where Rhys was a pupil, there has been a steady stream of youngsters laying floral tributes at the scene.
Large crowds gathered at the accident site on Thursday evening, while scores more of Rhys’s friends visited yesterday to lay more flowers and mementoes including black and white balloons and a Newcastle United shirt in reference to his favourite team.
Youngsters in their school uniforms, many of them breaking down in tears, were seen consoling each other throughout the day.
Rhys’s mum Jan told the Mail from her home in Seaton Carew that she was too upset to talk about the tragedy, other than to say she was “heartbroken”. His dad is former Pools striker Marty Hewitt.
Special assemblies and a mass took place at English Martyrs yesterday, while the school’s chapel remained open for any students wanting time to reflect on the loss of their pal.
The flag outside of the school has been flying at half mast in tribute to Rhys, a Year 10 pupil who was described as “a popular lad who was very intelligent and well-liked by students and staff” by his headteacher.
Anyone who witnessed the accident can call Cleveland Police’s no-emergency number 101.