Death of Sudbury boy, eight, a ‘terrible tragedy’

A car crash which tragically killed a Sudbury schoolboy was the result of freak weather conditions, an inquest heard.

Eight-year-old Joel Depper suffered severe head injuries when the black Mazda 2 his mother was driving skidded and hit a tree. The accident took place on the A14 near Stow-cum-Quy on February 12.

Joel, a Tudor Primary School pupil, was a passenger in the car with his younger brother Ollie.

An inquest heard that the boys were travelling to Bradford with their mother, Emma Depper, of Uplands Road, Sudbury, when the car skidded on a patch of black ice.

Pc Ian Manley, from Sawston Police, who was on duty, said he responded to reports of a car resting three metres from the carriageway at around 9.10am.

On approaching the vehicle, he could see damage to the rear passenger door and a woman with a small child on the floor.

“I spent a long time assisting Joel, keeping his airways clear,” Mr Manley told the inquest in Huntingdon on Thursday.

“He had injuries to the left hand-side of his head.”

In a statement read to the court, Ms Depper, who was not present, said she did not like driving in freezing conditions and had warned her sons they might not be able to go to Bradford, but she believed the weather had improved.

“I saw something black ahead of me and all of a sudden the car just went out of my control,” she said.

“Had I thought it was freezing conditions, I wouldn’t have driven that day.”

For the full story see this week’s Free Press.