February 28, 2012

Schoolboy dies after being hit on head by cricket ball (6 PICS)

Tragedy: Kyle Rees was pronounced dead today after being hit by the ball in the playground yesterday
A boy of 16 died yesterday after being hit by a cricket ball thrown by a fellow pupil.

Friends and teachers rushed to help Kyle Rees when he suffered the blow to the side of his head while in the school playground.

The year 11 pupil collapsed and was taken to hospital unconscious, dying a day later with his mother, Tanya Cooper, by his side.

Immediately after the incident at lunchtime on Monday police cordoned off the school and interviewed potential witnesses.

They arrested a 16-year-old on suspicion of manslaughter and released him on bail yesterday. 
Christine Shave, who is the mother of Miss Cooper’s former partner Martin Beale, said the news had devastated the family.

‘As far as I know it was an accident at school,’ she added.

‘Somebody threw a cricket ball which hit Kyle on the head and he got a haemorrhage.

‘I can’t imagine it being anything other than a tragic accident.’

Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, headmistress of Portchester School, a 766-pupil specialist sports college in Bournemouth, said Kyle was a talented young man. 

‘Students and staff are devastated by this terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers are very much with the boy’s family and friends,’ she added.

‘Our focus must be providing as much support as possible to our close-knit school community as we all try to come to terms with what has happened.

‘The next few weeks and months are going to be emotionally testing for our students and staff, but we will be doing all we can for them.

‘The emergency services cannot be praised highly enough for their prompt actions at the time, and we also pay tribute to the outstanding medical help he received at hospital.

'At an appropriate time we will be celebrating his memory and life at school. He was a memorable and talented young man. 

‘He was very popular with his peers and was due to do well in his GCSEs this summer.’ 

Pupil Tierney Tayla said: ‘Rest in peace Kyle, Avonborne and Portchester miss you already. Keep looking down on us because we won’t go a day without thinking about you.’
Kyle, who worked at the same language school in the summer holidays as his 42-year-old mother, had recently won a place on an engineering college course.

A spokesman for Dorset Police confirmed that a teenager had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

Scene of tragedy: Portchester School in Bournemouth
'A 16-year-old boy has sadly died following an incident at Portchester School in Bournemouth,' he said.

'A 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the incident, initially for an offence of assault and subsequently on suspicion of manslaughter.

'He has been released on police bail while enquiries continue.

'A police cordon is currently in place at the school while officers investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.

'Teachers and children have been helping police with their enquiries throughout the day.'

Police were only alerted at 7.30pm last night more than five hours after the incident at 2.10pm.

Kyle's mother's ex-partner Martin Beale was with her for 11 years until they split up last year and was described as ‘like a father’ to the boy.

Mr Beale’s mother Christine Shave, 54, from Bournemouth, today told of the family’s devastation.

She said: 'My son phoned me last night and told me the terrible news. He was in floods of tears. He was devastated; he is like a dad to Kyle.

'I think he had been called by Kyle’s mother last night and she told him the news.

'As far as I know it was an accident at school. Somebody threw a cricket ball which hit Kyle on the head and he got a haemorrhage.

'I can’t imagine it being anything other than a tragic accident.'

Portchester School is a specialist sports college that has 766 pupils aged between 11 and 16.

It shares its grounds with neighbouring Avonbourne, an all-girls school.

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