The family of a boy who was seriously injured in a collision by a driver under the influence of drugs has joined Cleveland Police to support a national awareness-raising campaign.
Noah Herring, who was aged six at the time of the horrific incident, suffered severe injuries due to being hit by a Mercedes driven by 24-year-old Harry Summersgill, who was under the influence of drugs, on Yarm Road in Stockton on 28th February.
Noah and his dad, James, were cycling to the park on a designated cycle path when the incident happened, as the white Mercedes driven by Summersgill crossed two lanes of traffic before mounting the pavement and striking Noah at speeds of over 60mph in a 30mph zone.
Disturbing footage showing clips (below) from Noah’s dad’s Go Pro camera on his pedal cycle has now been released as part of the campaign, highlighting the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs.
Also below is another clip showing officers from Cleveland Police presenting Noah with a replacement bike after he had recovered enough from his ordeal to get back to his feet.
Summersgill was found to be driving under the influence of cocaine, cannabis and ketamine.
He was later charged and pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court and was jailed for three years.
In the video below, body-worn camera footage shows Summersgill casually claiming ‘it was a simple accident’ after he was arrested and cautioned by officers.
Inspector Dave Williams, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said:
“Noah and James were out riding their bikes and having a pleasant morning when Harry Summersgill, knowingly under the influence of a cocktail of drugs, drove his car and struck Noah at high speed. Noah’s family know how lucky they were that day; the outcome could have been much worse and we’re all thankful that it wasn’t.
“There will be increased activity and an increased focus on drug driving throughout the two-week National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) campaign, although police will continue to tackle the issue all year round.
“To anyone who may get into their car with the intention of driving whilst under the influence; I would urge you to watch this footage and see the horrendous circumstances for yourself.
“No driver should ever take risks like these. It is unacceptable and we won’t tolerate anyone who takes drugs or drinks alcohol and gets behind the wheel of their vehicle.
“Our message is simple. Don’t do it.”
PC Natalie Horner, who worked on the case as part of the Collision Investigation Unit (CIU), contacted Kona Bicycles UK following the incident to ask if they could assist Noah with a replacement bike after he had recovered enough to be able to ride again.
When Scott Belshaw, from Kona Bikes, heard what happened, he immediately set to work on a brand new bike for Noah, free of charge to the family and delivered the surprise gift to him personally at the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit in Wynyard on Thursday 3rd June.
Scott Belshaw said:
“After speaking with Natalie I was shocked to hear what had happened and it was clear that the only thing to do would be to get Noah a bike after everything he’s been through.”
PC Natalie Horner said:
“Noah deserves something nice after the difficult time he had earlier this year.
“He was very concerned that his ‘pride and joy’ had been ruined after the collision and I thought it would be great if he could get a replacement.
“Kindly, Scott offered to make this bike for Noah free of charge and I hope he can continue to go out and enjoy cycling again very soon.”
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