Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 12:23 UK

GP recalls emotion of boy's death

Dr Peter Harbord
Dr Peter Harbord was walking home from a church youth service with Sam

A family GP who was with 11-year-old Sam Riddall when he was hit and killed by a car in Bristol has told of his emotion at seeing the child's lifeless body.

Dr Peter Harbord had been talking to Sam moments before the car mounted the kerb at an estimated 60mph (96km/h) and hit them both.

The driver, Hannah Saaf, 27, of Kingsdown, Bristol, has pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Dr Harbord, who was injured in the crash in Westbury-on-Trym in May, said he was walking ahead of Sam and three other boys when he saw the car coming over the brow of the hill.

He said: "I remember realising it was coming in far too fast, and a second later seeing it lose control.

Killed outright

"I was knocked off my feet and dazed for a minute or two.

"It had knocked past me, knocked me over and hit straight into Sam, and tragically killed him outright."

Dr Harbord suffered bruising to his legs, but was otherwise unhurt by the crash on the night of Friday, 1 May.

It was just an impossible situation. I was hoping beyond hope he would be able to be resuscitated.
Dr Peter Harbord

He added: "I went to where Sam was lying on the road. By this time two people were trying to resuscitate him.

"As a doctor he just looked like, as if he was dead. It looked like he had been killed instantly."

Practicing Christian Dr Harbord said his thoughts were immediately for Sam's parents Martin and Rachel.

He said: "It was just an impossible situation. I was hoping beyond hope he would be able to be resuscitated.

"There were people praying at the scene. I was hoping for a miracle."

Holding back tears, Dr Harbord added: "How can anyone drive down a pavement at 60mph in a built-up area?

"It still brings back a lot of emotion, and often with tears as well."

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