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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Boys bailed after toddler's death
Billy Donnelly
The jeep hit a tree and then crushed Billy Donnelly's pushchair
Police have bailed two 14-year-old boys who were arrested after a toddler died when a stolen Jeep hit his pushchair.

The green Jeep Wrangler hit a tree and then 19-month-old Billy Donnelly in Rolls Road, Southwark, south London, on Friday afternoon.

The occupants of the vehicle fled after the crash, leaving local residents trying to resuscitate the boy. He died in hospital a short while later.

The arrested boys have been released on police bail until mid-December.

One was detained by police close to the scene of the crash and the other was arrested late on Friday night at a house in Southwark.

We are devastated by the death of our son Billy
Statement from family

A statement from Billy's family, issued by police, spoke of their grief.

"We are devastated by the death of our son Billy. We would like to expressly thank all the emergency services, particularly the doctors and nurses who worked so hard to save him," it said.

The family also thanked well-wishers for their tributes and kindness.

The family of the 19-month-old live on the road running parallel to the scene of the accident, which happened just after 1300 BST on Friday.

Family members look at tributes
Family and friends of Billy leave flowers at the accident site

Billy, his younger brother Luke, an older brother and his mother were returning from a parents meeting at a local school when the incident occurred.

Billy was in the top of the two-tier pushchair, while his brother, 10-week-old Luke, was in the bottom, relatives of the boy said.

Luke was not badly hurt, but was taken to hospital and later discharged.

Members of his family have visited the crash site, where floral tributes have been laid.

One tribute said: "To Billy-bob. We loved seeing your cheeky smile and will never forget you."

'Terrible area'

Laying a floral tribute for Billy, Elsa Stone, a 72-year-old lollipop lady, said she met the children everyday.

"He would always kiss me every time and gave me a nice smile, he was such a lovely little baby," she said about Billy.

In 2003, a 13-year-old boy, Jamie Hussey, was killed when he was hit by a teenage joy rider on a motorbike, just 500m from the site where Billy was killed.

His mother, Wendy Hussey, said: "This is a terrible area. There are muggings... cars are being stolen all the time.

"It is unbelievable what goes on here... My son was a victim of this area."

Simon Hughes, the local MP, visited the scene and said it was a "terrible tragedy", but he emphasised that things were improving.

"Clearly there is an issue around young people taking cars and driving them away but it is less than it was," he said.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Southwark residents react to the toddler's death



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