Family’s heartache after Hartlepool boy, 9, hit by car fights for life

Jak Smithson.
Jak Smithson.

A FAMILY is keeping a bedside vigil after a schoolboy was left fighting for his life when he was hit by a car.

Nine-year-old Jak Smithson was hit by a red Citroen Berlingo at the junction of Ashgrove Place and Stockton Road, Hartlepool.

Jak Smithson.

Jak Smithson.

He was rushed to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, after the collision at 5.10pm on Wednesday.

The St Aidan’s Primary School pupil is in an induced coma and his family say he has no broken bones but medics are concerned about a head injury.

Speaking from his hospital bedside, distraught mum Kimberley Atkinson, 29, who lives off South Parade in the Stranton area, said: “It’s just a waiting game to see what happens.

“We are all beside ourselves.”

Jak, one of six siblings, was with his brother Riley when the incident happened.

They had been playing with a cousin who lives near Ashgrove Place when he was on his way to ask his nana, Brenda Atkinson, who was looking after him at the time, what time he should be home for tea.

After his brother was hit, Riley, 12, rang his mum who rushed to the scene.

Kimberley, who is also mum to Antony, 11, Daniel, eight, Adam, seven, and five-year-old Vicki, said: “I rushed straight around.
“I just saw him lying in the road, the paramedics had him there for ages and then they were working on him in the ambulance for about an hour.

“Then me and my partner went with him to the hospital with a police escort.

“We are all absolutely devastated.”

Jak’s nana Brenda Atkinson, 50, from South Parade, got to her grandson moments before Kimberley.

She said: “He was coming home to ask me what time he had to be in for tea and he just didn’t get there.

“My other daughter went to the hospital last night and she said Jak has breathing tubes in.
“He has got no other injury, but a brain injury.

“They had to shave his hair to put a wire in to stop his brain from swelling.

“He is going to be in an induced coma for at least three days, it could be longer.”

Brenda added that when she arrived at the scene of the accident, she saw a crowd milling about the road, with “police everywhere” and vans blocking off both ends of the road and she “just dived over”.

She said: “Our Jak was saying ‘nana, nana help me’ and he asked me to take him home to my house, but I said ‘I can’t let you get up’.

“He said ‘I’m alright’, but his right ear was pouring with blood. When Kimberley came she was uncontrollable.

“The dent in the van was the size of a dinner plate.

“Everybody told me once he hit the floor he didn’t move.”

She said Jak doesn’t remember being hit and when police asked him what had happened, he just kept talking about how he plays for the local Saxon football team.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “The boy is in a critical but stable condition.”

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Ian Robson from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on the non-emergency number 101.