A mother gave a ‘blood-curdling’ scream after her three-year-old son was fatally injured when he ‘ran into a road in front of a car’.
Shocked eye-witnesses told how the youngster was hit by a silver Toyota Rav4 at around 7pm last night in East Finchley, north London.
They said the driver, who stopped at the scene, was seen ‘pacing around’ and appeared ‘very stressed.’
The boy was rushed to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Local residents said the mother fell to her knees after her son was knocked down by the vehicle.
A three-year-old boy died after being hit by a silver Toyota Rav4 in East Finchley, north London, last night. Pictured is the scene and a mark in the road left by investigators
The fatal crash happened near a busy pub packed with customers enjoying an after-work drink.
Police and paramedics raced to the scene of the tragic accident which happened on a single lane carriageway.
One local residents was upstairs bathing her children when she heard the mother’s ‘piercing’ screams and thought somebody had been murdered.
One witness, known only as Hannah, said: ‘It was so sad – I have never heard screams like it.
‘I was upstairs bathing the kids and then I head piercing screams – It was blood curdling.
‘I thought somebody had been murdered and told my husband not to go outside.’
The marketing manager, 36, added: ‘Five minutes later, I saw a helicopter, an ambulance and police and when I went to the end of the road, I saw them trying to resuscitate the boy.
‘There was an elderly man and woman at the side of the road crying.
‘When I came back at 10pm, the buggy was still left in the road – it looked like an expensive one.
‘The police cordoned off the entire road from the pub to the next set of lights so nobody living here could get in or out.
‘Then they were running speed tests late at night, I imagine to ascertain how fast the driver had been going.’
A woman who lived on the street where the accident happened said a man and a woman who appeared to be in their 60s were in the car involved.
She added: ‘I feel so sorry for them. ‘In these tragedies it is so often the drivers who get blamed, but it is not always their fault.
‘I see so many mothers walk along here with their children 10 steps in front of them, and it’s a busy road.’
She added: ‘They weren’t young people driving badly. I saw them stood by the police van looking very upset and I offered them a glass of water.’
Mariela Valnaeva, a 29-year-old student, who lives nearby, said: ‘I was on the street opposite and I heard a loud thud.
‘A few seconds later the mother started screaming. I walked over and people nearby started screaming and rushing over to help.
‘The mother was screaming, and there were two women with her trying to calm her down.
‘She was in shock. Everybody was in shock. It was a horrible moment.
‘She was on her knees next to her little boy, but nobody was touching him as he lay on the floor by the traffic lights outside the pub.
‘He was on the floor near the pavement and there was a lot of blood. People placed his coat over his face.’
Flowers have been left at the scene in East Finchley today, pictured, while witnesses said the boy’s mother let out a ‘blood-curdling scream’ when her son was hit by the vehicle after ‘running out into the road’
She added: ‘It is an awful tragedy. ‘I feel sorry for the mum and the boy.
‘The car was a silver Toyota and I saw the bumper on the front passenger side hanging off, but no other damage.
‘He [the driver] was on the phone pacing around, he seemed very stressed.’
A woman who lived further down the street added: ‘It’s so sad. Drivers whizz along this road all the time.
‘I wasn’t home when the crash happened, but I saw police running speed tests that evening.’
A bartender at the Five Bells pub, opposite the scene, said the venue was packed with customers at the time of the crash.
He said: ‘All the staff stayed inside and were helping the police by keeping the customers inside the pub.
‘Some people rushed over from the pub garden to help. There were a lot of customers at the time.’
Paramedics and police officers were at the scene within minutes according to people at the scene.
A Met spokesman said: ‘Officers attended, along with London Ambulance and London’s Air Ambulance.
‘At the scene a three year old boy had been in collision with a Toyota Rav4.
‘The injured child was taken to a north London hospital by paramedics where he was sadly pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Next of kin have been informed.
‘The driver of the car involved stopped at the scene and has not been arrested.’
‘Inquiries are underway to establish the circumstances surrounding the collision and officers are keen to hear from anyone who has dashcam footage or who witnessed the incident first hand.’
The gardener who called 999 said the toddler had most likely pressed the button at the pedestrian crossing and stuck his head out when a silver Toyota Rav 4 estate hit him.
Police conducted forensic and speed tests in the road last night and spoke to the driver at the scene but did not arrest them
The 37-year-old who did not want to be named saw the aftermath but was confident the child suffered a head collision with the car’s front bumper.
He said: ‘I heard the thud, the screech, and the silence followed by blood curdling screams that could only be made by a mother.
‘She was absolutely distraught. ‘It fell silence only for a few seconds, probably where she was panicking, but it felt like 15 minutes.
‘Then came the blood curdling screams. All I heard her keep saying was ‘help him, help him, somebody help him.’
‘The first thing I saw was the car and then I just saw two baby feet pointing up and his hand laying out and the blood trickling.
‘I knew instantly there was no way a child that small would survive that. I wouldn’t have survive that. ‘I don’t even think the mother would’ve known what happened, it all happened so quickly.
‘It looked as though the child had hit the button at the crossing and either peered or stepped into the road and he was hit, flipped and pushed directly to the floor.
‘Given the height of the car, the proximity of the car and the way the body was laying, I am pretty sure it was a head collision.
‘It clearly just threw the child straight to the ground. His body travelled only a few inches.
‘If the child’s body was hit, he would have been thrown a lot further.
‘I stood in front of the car to make sure nobody drove into him and dialled 999.
‘The driver, she came out about six or seven minutes into it and tried to push the bumper back in.
‘I think she was driving with her husband as the passenger – they were in their late 50s or 60s.
‘Somebody was attempting CPR and then the paramedics performed CPR within seconds of arriving.
‘The mother was held away so she wasn’t leaving over the baby’s body.’
He described the tot as white with brown hair while his mother, who was also white, had darker hair and appeared to be aged in her late 20s or earlier 30s.
The horticulturalist is campaigning for the road outside his house to be made a 20mph zone after he has witnessed cars driving at 70mph along the residential lane.
He added: ‘The driver was not doing 50mph but she definitely wasn’t doing 30mph. ‘It is like Formula 1 around here, I’ve seen cars driving at 70mph and even the police can’t keep up with them. ‘We need a 20mph zone around here.’