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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Woman and son who died in Sheppey Crossing named as Debbie and Marshall Roberts from Sheerness

02 July 2014
by KentOnline reporter
A driver has been released on bail as a woman and her eight-year-old son who died in a Sheppey Crossing crash are named locally.
 
The male driver of the pick-up was arrested yesterday on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
 
He has been released on bail until September 18. 
 
Scroll down for video
 
Debbie Roberts, who died in the crash on the Sheppey Crossing

Debbie Roberts, who died in the crash on the Sheppey Crossing

Police at the scene of the Sheppey Crossing crash

Police at the scene of the Sheppey Crossing crash

 
The 42-year-old woman from Sheerness who died is believed to have been in a car with two boys.
 
She has been named locally as Debbie Roberts, from Sheerness.
 
Her eight-year-old son died and his six year-old brother was hurt and taken to a London hospital for treatment to his minor injuries.
 
The boy who died has been named as Marshall Roberts, who went to Rose Street Primary School in Sheerness.
 
A statement on the school's website last night said: "Unfortunately I have had some tragic news today. 
 
 
"Marshall Roberts and his mum Debbie have been involved in a fatal car crash. Archer Roberts has been taken to hospital.
 
"Mrs Chetty-Mattson (the head teacher) and Mr Connors will address the children in assembly tomorrow, following that there will be counsellors available to children, staff and parents. 
 
"Our sincere condolences go out to the family at this saddest of times."
 
"Our sincere condolences go out to the family at this saddest of times" - Rose Street school 
Now a petition, called Make a Sheppey Bridge Safe to Cross, has been launched.
 
By this morning it already had nearly 2,000 signatures.
 
It comes after a flatbed van and the woman's Renault Clio crashed on top of the bridge on the Sittingbourne-bound carriageway.
 
The accident happened about 1.15pm, and the air ambulance and two land ambulances were called to the scene.
 
Now Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson has spoken out in the aftermath of the crash.
 
He said today: "I've already contacted police and asked them to brief me as soon as possible on the cause of yesterday's accident.
 
"Until we know the full circumstances, I don't think it's appropriate to speculate what safety measures need to be taken.
 
"The problem is, when the bridge was first built the decision was taken at the time, which I disagreed with, to not have a hard shoulder; to not have lights; to not have emergency phones.
 
Cars on the approach to the Sheppey Crossing earlier this evening. Picture Barry Hollis

Cars on the approach to the Sheppey Crossing earlier this evening. Picture: Barry Hollis

 
"At the time, the Chief Constable of Kent raised it as an issue, but the answer given from the government was that the bridge was safe at that time.
 
"Regarding the accident last year, the investigation by police came to the conclusion that the design of the bridge was not a factor.
 
"So until we hear from police what their conclusion is as to the cause of yesterday's tragic accident, we won't know if the design of the bridge was a contributory factor." 
 
Speaking yesterday, witness Amber Harding said she could see the immediate aftermath of the crash.
 
She said: "The red car looks like it had been crushed from all angles.
 
"The sides of the car were completely smashed."
 
Lee Ewart was on his way to work at Delphi Diesel Systems in Gillingham.
 
Emergency services deal with the aftermath of the serious crash at the Sheppey Crossing

Emergency services deal with the aftermath of the serious crash at the Sheppey Crossing

Traffic at a standstill after the Sheppey Crossing crash

Traffic at a standstill after the Sheppey Crossing crash

 
He said: "I drove past on the old bridge because they were directing people down that way.
 
"All I could really see was an ambulance sitting up there and the air ambulance parked up.
 
"There didn't seem to be an awful lot of traffic going along the old road - there weren't that many cars on the new bridge so I'm assuming it was closed before it built up too much."
 
The bridge is empty to traffic. Picture Barry Hollis

The bridge is empty to traffic. Picture: Barry Hollis

 
The road was closed for several hours as police carried out an investigation.
 
The northbound carriageway re-opened at around 7pm last night, with the southbound route reopening shortly after that. 
 
 
 
Video: Emergency crews at the crossing crash
 
Officers from the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit are appealing for information, particularly from witnesses who observed the white van or red car just before the crash.
 

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