Tragic Tim killed in horror collision on just second cycle to school
An 11-year-old boy was killed in a road collision yesterday while cycling to school for only the second time.
Tim Ross (11) was making his way from his Westmeath home in Moate towards nearby Tubber National School when he was hit by a car just after 9am.
"It is an awful tragedy. It was only his second time cycling to school. Our hearts go out to the whole family," said one local woman.
Local publican Paul Lawless said news of Tim's death had spread early yesterday morning.
"It's devastating. They are a lovely family. Everyone is just shocked."
Tim had been crossing the old main Dublin to Galway Road at Marshbrook, to get to the side road that would have brought him to his school when the crash happened.
It is understood he was killed instantly.
Tim's father Richard and mother Katharine are both from Moate.
Richard works with the Irish Wheelchair Association and as a part-time farmer, while Katharine works with air traffic control in Shannon Airport, according to neighbours.
School staff were trying to come to terms with how to break the news to classmates.
Principal Anne Marie Minnock said that it was a tragedy for all the families in the school and the community.
"We are deeply saddened by Tim's tragic death. Our sympathies and thought are with his, parents, family and friends.
"Tim was full of life and very sporty. We greatly appreciate all those who are offering support and we have implemented our critical incident management plan," she said.
"The National Educational Psychological Services have provided psychologists on site to help to support and advise staff," Ms Minnock added.
Tim had two younger sisters, and had only started back in fifth class in his school on Wednesday.
The Ross family have historic connections to Moate, originally coming from Ross's Lane in the town.
"You'd see Tim cycling around here. It's a quiet road and he's known it all his life. They are good people and I'm very saddened by what happened," said one neighbour.
Katharine's family comes from the area near the Carmelite church in the town.
Independent Councillor Michael O'Brien said the Ross family were very involved in volunteering with local sports and the Tidy Towns.
"Everyone is distraught. All the parents in the area can relate to it," he said.
So far this year, 120 people have died in car crashes, including 17 pedestrians.