Devastated family pay tribute to ‘sweet and loving’ boy killed in horror 4×4 crash

A devastated family have paid tribute to a ‘sweet and loving’ boy killed in a horror crash.

Jake Allen, nine, died when the off-road vehicle he was riding in overturned on an adventure course.

He was pronounced dead at Coney Green farm in Stourport-on-Severn, Worchester, on Saturday afternoon.

A young girl also suffered serious injuries in what an eyewitness described as a “freak accident”.

In a moving tribute, Jake’s family said they were “completely devastated of our Jakey”.

They said: “He was such a kind, respectful and loving little boy. When wasn’t making videos with his sister, Lilli-Louise, he was always offering to help out around the house.

“He could seem serious and quiet at first, but then he would break out into the most beautiful smile, and with those close to him he was warm and chatty.

“Jakey enjoyed reading, drumming, gaming and playing football with his friends. He loved his dog, Bobby, and anything and everything to do with animals. He would often come out with random facts about birds or plants, we never knew where he got them from, but when we looked them up, he was always right.

“Lilli-Louise called him her ‘little teddy bear’ and said he was the ‘bestest little brother and he was fantastic at swimming and was always compared to a fish.’ Lilli-Louise, along with the whole family, loves and misses him so very much.”

Emergency services were sent to the off-road course at 4.45pm on Saturday.

Police said there were no other vehicles involved in the crash and the boy died at the scene.

A girl who was in the vehicle was also hurt and taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

It is understood the boy was among a small private party of guests from outside the area.

The driver was said to have been an accomplished off-road driver who knew the site “like the back of his hand”.

Roll-bars fitted to the off-road vehicle were said to have prevented an even greater tragedy.

But it can be revealed how the adventure course had previously been blasted over safety shortcomings.

The course, which is used privately by 4×4 and motobike groups, was criticised when a man died at the 40-acre site in 2007.

Adam Cluley, 16, had next-to-no driving experience when he took control of a powerful Land Rover Tomcat which hit a gully and flipped, killing passenger Andrew Cooper, 29.

The site’s owner, Patricia Crump, was criticised by a coroner who said that no risk assessment had been carried out.

Worcestershire coroner Geraint Williams said: “There’s a legal duty of care for people who come onto private land.

“It must have been glaringly obvious that this was a group of private individuals with a number of very young children from the age of 12 years. It’s shocking there were not better controls in place.”

A health and safety improvement notice was served on Mrs Crump, who was on holiday when tragedy struck on Saturday.

West Mercia Police is appealing for information.

A spokesman said: “Around 4:45pm on Saturday (24 September) we were called to reports of a single vehicle collision at Coney Green Farm, Stourport-on-Severn.

“Police attended alongside colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance service. An off-road vehicle had overturned and one passenger, a 9-year-old boy, died at the scene.

“The driver and three other passengers received non-life threatening injuries.

“Officers would like to hear from anyone with any relevant information.”