Police probe death of public schoolboy, 12, killed by hockey ball during match

Posted on 12:41 PM by Sameer Shah

A tragedy in which a young schoolboy was killed when he was hit on the head by a flying hockey ball was being investigated by police today.

The 12-year-old child collapsed with a devastating heart attack after the impact knocked him to the ground during a school event.

Despite the efforts of paramedics and surgeons who battled to revive him for more than two hours, he was later certified dead in hospital.

The drama happened at a £5,730 pounds-a-term preparatory school for boys and today a full scale inquiry was underway.

Police say it is not clear at this stage whether the incident will be treated as an accident of whether further action will be taken.

Concerned friends watched as paramedics raced to the all-weather pitch and battled to save the boy, whose heart had stopped beating when he went into full cardiac arrest.

He was rushed to Watford General Hospital where doctors frantically worked on his body but were unable to save him.

Today a spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said that an investigation had been launched into the circumstances of the boy's death at the 140-pupil Lockers Park School in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

The boy was believed to have been taking part in a competitive hockey match when the ball struck him hard on the head in a freak accident.

Concerned teachers and friends rushed to his aid and dialled 999.

Gary Sanderson, spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service, said that crews were called at 3.15pm by staff.

He said: 'A team of paramedics and emergency medical technicians were alerted to the school in Hemel Hempstead shortly after 3.15pm yesterday afternoon.

'The crews were told that a teenager had suffered a sports injury.

'He was in cardiac arrest when we arrived and paramedics worked extremely hard to stabilise the boy who was in a critical condition, before conveying him to an awaiting medical team at Watford General Hospital.'

It was believed doctors in the accident and emergency department battled for two hours to revive the teenager, who died late on Tuesday.

Lockers Park School has been operating as a day and boarding preparatory school for boys aged five to 13 years of age for the past 130 years.

The school, set in plush and extensive grounds in Hemel Hempstead, is said to pride itself on the wide range of sporting activities on offer.

On the school's website, it gives details of its games' expertise.

It reads: 'Through the afternoon games programme and extensive fixture list, the school prides itself on its strong sporting reputation and offering opportunities for all.

'The standard of sport at Lockers Park is high and the school has achieved great success both at local and national levels of competition.

'Rugby and hockey fill the majority of the spring term, with matches played at all age groups and standards throughout the school.

'All hockey matches are played on our own Astroturf pitch and the school has enjoyed success in both inter-prep school tournaments, and against other notable independent schools.'

Former Locker Park old boys include Lord Louis Mountbatten. Many pupils go on to Eton.

A spokesman for the school refused to comment on the accident.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police confirmed today/yesterday (Weds) that an investigation was underway.

'Police are looking into the circumstances surrounding the death.

'At this stage I am unable to say whether this will be treated as an accident or further action will be taken.'

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