A four-year-old boy tragically died when he slipped out of his mum’s hand and ran into the road as “he was excited to get home and eat KFC,” an inquest heard.
Agarwin Sasikaran was at a pelican crossing with his mum and six-year-old brother when, after his mother let go of his hand to press the button, he darted into the road, a hearing was told.
Aklaya Sasikaran, the boy’s mother, broke her finger trying to grab her son before he was struck by a Vauxhall Astra doing 40mph, the inquest heard.
The horrific collision happened at around 7pm on Sunday October 11, 2020, in Hayes, west London.
“A young family was going out to enjoy KFC, a takeaway and that evening ended with this tragic outcome,” the coroner said.
Agarwin suffered “catastrophic injuries” around his head and torso and never recovered consciousness, the inquiry was told yesterday.
Stacy Woolmore, the driver who was within the speed limit, reacted within one second of the boy shooting into the road by immediately swerving left in a bid to avoid the crash.
Police officers examining the case determined the crash was “unavoidable” and found the driver had “made no mistake”.
The boy was treated by the roadside by a passing off-duty GP who jumped over the barriers to help, where the driver of the car called emergency services.
He was then rushed to St Mary’s Hospital, but medics could not save him and he died in the early hours of the following morning.
The death of the young Sri Lankan boy was said to have happened due to the “unpredictability of children”, West London Coroner’s Court heard.
Aklaya Sasikaran, Agarwin’s mother, gave a statement to police saying after making the children lunch at home the youngster wanted popcorn chicken from KFC for dinner.
Assistant Coroner Ivor Collett said, summarizing her statement, said: “She told the children that they would take the food home rather than eat it at the KFC.
“They left KFC and she took hold of Agarwin’s hand while his brother walked unaided.
“They walked up to the crossing on Uxbridge Road. There was a green man for them until they got to the central reservation.
“Once they were on that island, she pressed the button to allow them to cross the second half of the road.
“She let go of Agarwin’s hand, still holding the Tesco bag, to press the button. He then ran out into the lane.”
The Coroner said the mother desperately tried to grab her young son, breaking her finger as she tried to grab him, but he was hit.
Ms Woolmore said she was driving at around 38 to 40 mph with her partner next to her when she reached the area of the pedestrian crossing and the lights were green.
Mr Collett, summarizing her statement, said: “As she reached the crossing, the boy ran out in front of the car.
“She immediately swerved to the left to avoid a collision with the boy. She said he must have been one meter ahead of the mother.
“The mother tried to grab him but it was too late and the car struck the boy. Ms Woolmore then contacted emergency services.”
Detective Constable Dariusz Alexander, of the Metropolitan Police, investigated the incident and examined CCTV to find the time between Agarwin running out onto the road and Ms Woolmore swerving to avoid him was within one second.
This was the reaction time police found to be a responsible amount of time for an “alert” driver, the inquest was told.
He told the court: “She reacted within one second of the pedestrian running out into the road and that CCTV footage shows there was no sufficient time for the vehicle to stop before the collision.
“The vehicle was traveling at 39 mph. At the point of the boy running into the road, the collision was unavoidable.
“It is my hypothesis Agarwin was eager to get home after visiting KFC with his mother and brother.”
The Coroner described the driver as “extremely remorseful” and said the death affected her immensely and needed specialist support.
DC Alexander added: “The family have been seriously affected and moved from London to elsewhere wanting a fresh start from this tragic incident.”
Assistant Coroner Ivor Collett said: “This concerns the tragic accident on Sunday October 11, 2020.
“A young family was going out to enjoy KFC, a takeaway and that evening ended with this tragic outcome.
“Agarwin Sasikaran was a four-year-old boy holding his mother’s hand crossing the road with his brother.
“The family had safely reached the central reservation and so were going to wait until they were allowed to cross the rest of the road.
“This was a pedestrian crossing governed by traffic lights. His mother pressed the button to call for the lights to change.
“As she did that, Agarwin ran from her into the road. An oncoming car struck Agarwin before his mother could get hold of him even though she tried.
“Agarwin suffered very serious injuries and never recovered consciousness. He received highly specialist treatment both at the roadside and at the hospital.
“The injuries, particularly to his brain, were not such that he could be survived.
“After specialist surgical opinion, the decision was made that he could not be actively treated. He died at around 2.30am in the morning hours after the accident.”
The Coroner confirmed through the “extremely thorough” report that the “driver had made no mistake”.
Mr Collett added: “This terrible accident happened because children can sometimes behave unpredictably.
“Mrs Sasikaran will never be able to forget that terrible evening but I want her to know that it is absolutely clear that there is nothing she could have done to avoid what happened. Children do behave in these impulsive ways.”
The conclusion of the death was found to be severe traumatic brain injury caused by road traffic collision.
Paying tribute, Mr Collett said: “I want to send this court’s condolences to the family.
“I did not know their little boy, but it’s clear that his parents loved him very much.”