Parents' tribute to tragic teenager

THE parents of a popular 15-year-old boy who was killed along with his best friend when a car ploughed into them near Ipswich waterfront spoke of their grief last night .

THE parents of a popular 15-year-old boy who was killed along with his best friend when a car ploughed into them near Ipswich waterfront spoke of their grief last night .

Sharon and Dennis Bloomfield told of the agonising moment they had to allow son Dean's life support machine to be switched off.

Last night police said a 33-year-old man arrested in connection with the deaths had been taken to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning following concerns about his health.

They could not give any further details but said he would remain under arrest and was expected to be well enough to be interviewed some time today .

Dean Bloomfield and Scott Towler, also 15, who were in the same form at Stoke High School, had been walking along Fore Hamlet when tragedy struck on Friday.

Scott, who lived just outside Ipswich town centre, died almost immediately as a blue Volvo mounted the pavement and ploughed into them. Dean, who had severe head injuries, was taken to hospital but died the following morning.

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Dean's girlfriend, who was with them, miraculously escaped harm, despite having been holding hands with him at the time of the accident.

Dean's parents Sharon, 42, a carer and Dennis, 44, are taking sleeping pills and have been unable to eat since the accident. They stayed at Dennis' mother's house in Humber Doucy Lane over the weekend as they found being at the home too painful.

The Bloomfields, who have been married for nearly 25 years and have lived in Burrell Road, Ipswich, for 21 years, said the whole family had been "devastated" by Dean's death.

The couple had been in Dovercourt with their youngest daughter Emma, 10, when their 18-year-old son Daniel, a cabinet maker, telephoned with news that Dean was in hospital.

Sharon said: "We thought he must have broken something."

When Daniel phoned again, it was with the news that that the police were trying to contact them.

Sharon said: "We heard on the radio there had been a serious accident. We knew it was the way he always walks into town. We knew it was Dean."

"I'd tried to get Dean to come with us that morning but he didn't want to. Wouldn't I have been glad if he had," Dennis said.

Once at the hospital, they were asked to identify their son, as he had been brought in with Scott.

"We saw Dean first, as Scott had already died," Sharon said.

"We saw he had a drip and thought he might be in with a chance."

But it was only the machines that were keeping Dean alive and at 9.30am on Saturday morning, the Bloomfields took the agonising decision to let their son rest in peace.

The couple described Dean as a fun-loving boy who was devoted to his little sister and was a key member of the Silent Street Labour Club pool team.

He loved any sport, particularly basketball and animals and had always wanted a pet.

"We'd said no as we had four children in a terraced house but I wish I could turn the clock back. He could have what he wanted," Dennis said.

Like his brother Daniel and older sister Maria, 21, a carer, Dean had also been a member of the Ipswich Sea Cadets and in June 1999 had been part of a group to welcome the Duke of York to Ipswich. He loved history and was fascinated by World Wars one and two.

The week before he died, Dean had enjoyed a family holiday at Park Resorts, on Kessingland beach in north Suffolk.

Dennis said: "There are a lot of people in Ipswich who thought a lot of Dean. He had hundreds of friends. He would be in, eat his dinner and off out again but he would always let us know where he was and come in when we said.

"He liked going to the pictures and going to see his girlfriend. He never had trouble getting a girl. He was a bit of a lad but he never caused us any problems. If he could get away with something he would but he would never let anyone else take the blame for something he did.

"He'd never hold any grudges. I would bolt him one minute and he'd be cuddling me the next. He'd come out with the funniest sayings just because he'd misunderstood something.

"He thought the world of his little sister Emmy and walked her to school every morning. The most heart-breaking thing is that I don't think she realises he's gone."

The police suspect, who was arrested at 12.45pm on Friday after the blue Volvo he was driving collided with a wall in Key Street, is being held on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Although the man was not injured in the Key Street crash, a police surgeon was called to the cells at Ipswich Police Station on Saturday morning and the man was taken to hospital.

A police spokesman said yesterday : "At this stage police haven't had the opportunity to interview the man. He remains under arrest."

Police had originally been called to a domestic incident involving a man and a woman in Boyton Road just after 12.30pm on Friday. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a blue Volvo drive away.

Police have said they were not pursuing the car at the time of the Fore Hamlet accident, although a police van had been in the vicinity.

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