Boy dies trying to save family dog

A DOTING father has paid tribute to his son, who died trying to save the family dog after it ran on to a busy dual carriageway.Luca Baccarini, 14, died of severe head injuries after being struck by a Kia Picanto car on the A131 at Great Leighs, near Braintree, on Sunday at 6pm.

A DOTING father has paid tribute to his son, who died trying to save the family dog after it ran on to a busy dual carriageway.

Luca Baccarini, 14, died of severe head injuries after being struck by a Kia Picanto car on the A131 at Great Leighs, near Braintree, on Sunday at 6pm.

The Chelmer Valley High School pupil, who played football for Howe Street FC's under-15s and who lived at Brick Barns in Great Leighs, was trying to rescue his dog, Beau, from the dual carriageway at the time of the accident. Luca was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The dog, a Dogue Bordeaux breed, was uninjured, and Essex Police are calling on anybody who saw the tragic accident to come forward.


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Luca's father, Tony, called on people to avoid going down to the edge of the A131, where his son died, and asked well-wishers not to leave flowers there.

He said: “Luca was a much-loved son, brother and uncle. He was full of fun and laughter, and everyone who knew him loved him.

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“He was close to his family and his friends. He was a normal, cheeky teenager who had a great sense of fun and a wonderful ability to make people laugh. It hasn't fully sunk in yet that this has happened, but I can say that we will miss him dreadfully.”

His school colleagues were yesterday queuing up to leave messages in a book of condolence at Chelmer Valley High.

School headteacher David Franklin said: “He was a very likeable lad who always had a smile on his face and a real presence about him.

“It was a massive shock when we heard about this and our thoughts and sympathies are with his family.

“A few of our pupils were there with him when he died, so our main focus at the moment is on looking after the interests of our pupils.”

The school has also set up a flower memorial for Luca and has laid on facilities for pupils wanting to discuss their feelings about the incident with qualified staff.

Luca enjoyed rap music and was an Arsenal supporter whose favourite footballer was Thierry Henry.

He also loved cars and his ambition, when he left school, was to work with his father in the family's interiors and acoustics business.

Luca had four sisters and had recently become an uncle. The family has requested that any of Luca's friends who wish to leave flowers or other tributes do so by leaving them at the railings at the front of their house or at the bus stop where they all meet.

Tony added: “We are particularly concerned about the number of people who do go down to the edge of the road because of the dangers of passing traffic.”

Luca's family have also asked that the teenager's tissues be donated to help others.

The driver of the black-coloured Kia, an 18-year-old woman from Braintree, was treated for shock.

A spokesman for Essex Ambulance Service said: “Despite the best efforts of crews and a doctor from Broomfield Hospital who stopped to offer assistance, there was nothing that could be done to save him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. This was an extremely difficult incident for everyone involved.”

Police are appealing for any motorists who were travelling towards either Braintree or Chelmsford on the A131 just prior to 6pm on Sunday evening and who saw the moments leading up to the collision to contact investigating officers at Chelmsford Road Policing Unit on 01245 452918.

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