“We will love you always.”
That is the message left by the parents of nine-year-old Ethan Owens at the scene of the collision which claimed his life eight days later.
Ethan, a pupil at Jesmond Gardens Primary pupil was knocked down by a Range Rover on Marina Way, Hartlepool, on the evening of Monday, February 27.
Ethan, the second-youngest of seven children, was airlifted by the Great North Air Ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, and remained in a critical condition with serious head, back and pelvis injuries, as well as a broken hand and cuts.
Cleveland Police, which is investigating the collision, said Ethan had died in hospital on Tuesday.
Among the flowers and blue balloon left near the Anchor Retail Park was a bouquet carrying the message from his parents Paul Owens, 36, and Lisa Cooper, 37.
It is a very close community and we are devastated by this.Fr Graeme Buttery
Another reads “RIP Ethan, in God’s arms you can gently rest.”
Father Graeme Buttery, parish priest at St Oswald’s in Dyke House, a short distance away from Ethan’s home, helped lead a candle lit vigil and balloon release, organised by the Wharton Trust and the Annexe community centre, the night after the collision.
Since Ethan’s tragic death, he has been helping to support young people and his friends.
He said: “We have been remembering Ethan and members of his family in our prayers at mass and thinking of them as they come to terms with their loss.
“It is a very close community and we are devastated by this.”
Tributes to Ethan have also continued to be left to Ethan online.
Among those to leave messages include Marjorie Hollywood who said: “Bless you sweet angel. “Thoughts are with your family at this sad time, rest in peace.”
Diane Crisp said: “Heartbreaking.
“My thoughts to his family at this sad time.”
Diane Steel said: “Rest in peace little angel.
“Thinking about his family so, so sad.”
Jackie Robinson added: “Sleep with the angels.
“Thoughts are with your family at this awful time.”
Ethan’s school held an assembly in the wake of the collision as it helped its pupils cope with what happened.
Its staff have supported children as they learned of what had happened.
Ethan was supposed to be at a nearby youth club on the evening of the incident and had headed down to Marina Way with friends without his family knowing.
Cleveland Police has asked anyone who witnessed the crash and has not yet spoken to officers to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.