Home People Accidents Road Perils – Low Valley Accident – Child Killed by Bus – Moral for Parents

Road Perils – Low Valley Accident – Child Killed by Bus – Moral for Parents

April 1927

Mexborough and Swinton Times April 29, 1927

Road Perils
A Low Valley Accident
Child Killed by Bus
Moral for Parents

“We wish to express ourselves very positively that parents should be more guarded in the manner in which they allow children to run about on the highway.” The foreman of the jury made this statement at an inquest at Barnsley on William Ernest Spencer, aged 6, the son of May Spencer, 4 George Street, Low Valley.

On Friday evening, the child was knocked down and fatally injured by a motor ‘bus driven and owned by Tom Greenlow of Darfield.

The foreman added, “It is within our knowledge that there is a great deal of carelessness on the part of parents in this respect. When they allow children to go to shops they should have proper supervision of them. We have come to the conclusion unanimously that this is a complete accident and we exonerate the driver from all blame.”

The Coroner (Mr CJ Haworth) made similar observations. Adults as well as children were not as careful as they might be in stepping off pavements. A great many children of tender years were being knocked down by vehicle and the danger of playing on the roads could not be too strongly emphasised in the schools and by parents.

Mr CM Clegg represented the driver.

The mother of the child said that on Friday night which I went out to buy sweets, and a few minutes later she heard there had been an accident. The boy was conveyed to hospital in the bus that knocked him down.

Margaret Molyneux 39 George Street, Low Valley, said she saw the boy run from the causeway in George Street, and make across the road. Simultaneously she saw a bus travelling from Wombwell to Darfield. She put her hand over her face and then saw the back wheel on the right side of the bus pass over the child. The bus was stopped on the child was found lying to us 3 yards behind. The bus was not going fast and the boy started across the road when the bus was almost on him.

Mr Clegg: There was nothing Mr Greenlow could have done to avoid an accident?

Witness: Nothing at all sir.

Reuben Lomax, miner, 31, West St, Darfield, said he was a passenger in the bus. He saw the boy drop off the footpath and heard a “bump.” The driver swerved but could not avoid an accident. Witness added. “It is surprising there are not more children killed their. Always there are a lot running about.”

In reply to Mr Clegg, witness said that Greenlow was approaching a corner and slowing down before running into the child. There was no other bus about.

PC Carbert said the child was taken in Greenlow’s bus to Darfield where he was seen by Dr Pattison, who ordered his removal to the Beckett Hospital. The child died on the way. The width of the road where the accident occurred was 22 feet from curb to curb.

Dr McPhail, of the Beckett hospital, said the child was dead when admitted. There were abrasions on various parts of the body and the mouth was full of blood. One tooth was missing and two were loose. The base of the skull was fractured and death would be from haemorrhage. Witness said he did not think the vehicle had run over the child, but had simply knocked him down.

Thomas Greenall, 11, Hill Street, Darfield, said he had held a driving licence since 1907 and was the owner of the bus. At the time of the accident he had been doing 10 to 12 miles an hour and had slowed down to approach the corner. The first he saw of the childs it was when it dashed between two women standing on the causeway. He put a brake on and swerved but struck the child was the radiator. He pulled up in just over a length of the car. Witness added: “The children at low Valley have a nasty habit of waiting to get on top of them then rushing out. He did not suggest that this child did that.

A verdict of Accidental death was returned.