Hundreds gather to say '˜goodbye' to Hartlepool youngster Ethan Owens
The community pulled together to say goodnight Ethan Owens who was full of energy with a 'cheeky smile' and 'sparkly eyes'.
Heartfelt tributes were paid to young Ethan as hundreds gathered to pay their respects to the youngster who tragically died after being hit by a car.
A message on a floral tribute from his mum and dad Lisa and Paul read: “We are heartbroken to have to say goodnight. You gave us 9 years of happiness and as your mum and dad we are the proudest ever. Forever in our thoughts, hearts, dreams and memories. We love you all the world and back. Fly high baby. Love you always mam and dad.”
Eight days after he was knocked down, his heartbroken parents were forced to make the toughest decision of their lives - to turn off his life support machine.
News of the nine-year-old’s death left those who knew him devastated.
Today, hundreds of people whose hearts had been touched by the youngster’s enthusiasm for life, turned out to pay their final respects in a moving service led by Father Graeme Buttery at St Oswald’s Church.
Ethan arrived in a white horse drawn carriage before he was carried in to the sound of Ed Sheeran’s Castles on the Hill.
People wearing his favourite colour blue struggled to hold back their tears as they were asked to remember Ethan, before headteacher of Jesmond Garden Primary School, Jane Loomes, paid tribute to the youngster who was loved by staff and pupils alike. She said: “Ethan would always try and push the boundaries to try and get the attention of adults in the school, but that is one of the reasons why we loved him so much.
“He had a cheeky grin and sparkly eyes and a knack of making us laugh whatever the situation.
“At school, Ethan enjoyed history and writing stories and he said he would be a history teacher when he grew up, that’s if his first job as a firefighter didn’t work out.
“He had an amazing giggle. Ethan was a caring child, who loved sport and our charity work at school.
“He was vibrant, inquisitive and very caring. He will always be remembered fondly by those whose lives he has enriched for knowing him, even if it was for a short while.”
Ethan had lost his battle for life eight days following a collision with a car in the town’s Marina Way.
He had been airlifted to James Cook University Hospital suffering from critical head, pelvis and spinal injuries. His parents kept a bedside vigil, however, his injuries were too severe for him to recover from and they were left to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support.
Paying his own tribute to Ethan, Father Buttery said: “Ethan loved life and I think part of Ethan being Ethan, he had so much energy which he poured into his life.
“He loved school, he loved his friends, he loved his family, he loved most things. He was comfortable as his own person and it has been a pleasure and a privilege to have been part of his life.”
Ethan, who lived with his family in Wharton Terrace, was the second youngest of seven children, Jordan, 20, Ryan, 18, Lauren, 15, Nicole, 13, Shola, 11, and three-year-old Kyle.
Following the church service, Ethan was taken to his final resting place at West View Cemetery.