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Family appeal for witnesses to collision that's left 14 year old boy fighting for life

Third pupil from his school to suffer serious bike incident since 2008

A devastated family are pleading for witnesses to a collision that has left a 14 year old boy fighting for his life in Oxford to come forward.

Jack Taylor has a blood clot on his brain and a fractured skull after he was hit by a silver Mercedes in Ock Street, Abingdon.

In a tragic twist, his schoolmate Ty-Ree Partridge was killed just a few streets away in 2009 when she fell off her bike into the path of a lorry - and the year before another pupil cycling died near the school.

Jack was on his way to school at the time of the collision - something he did every day. He was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

His mother Nicola Berry told the Oxford Mail: "With the injuries he has, he is on the critical end of the scale, which doesn’t sound very promising.

“There is still a lot of blood coming from the clot on his brain and they need to keep him asleep for a few more days. On Monday they are going to try to wake him up gradually. We’ve been up there a lot, but his stepdad hasn’t left his side.”

Jack's stepfather Martin stressed the importance of getting to the bottom of what happened.

"We want to find out exactly what happened, not just hear about things second- and third-hand.

“He was cycling to Larkmead School and he had got to Ock Street, where there’s an island and you have to cross.

“We heard the helicopter and the sirens, but we never thought for one moment it would be for our son.

"I want to appeal for witnesses to come forward and help the police. We need to know what happened."

Jack had been at Larkmead School since he was 11 - meaning he was likely to have known Ty-Ree Partridge. In response to her death, local schools campaigned for safer road crossings in the area.

The year before her death, another Larkmead pupil, Sarah Waterhouse, 17, died after her bicycle was in collision with a school coach in Colwell Drive.

Larkmead headteacher Chris Harris said: “There is a lot of concern for him in school. We had an assembly for his year group on Thursday where we talked about the situation, explained what we knew about the incident and how Jack was.

“We have sent our own wishes to his family and we are willing him to get better.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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