Schools pay tribute to cheerful children

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Two Dunstable schools have paid tribute to the youngsters killed in a crash last week.

Ethan Houghton, aged 13, and his brother Josh, 11, died alongside their motherTracy and Aimee Goldsmith, also 11 as they returned through Newbury from a camping trip. Aimee’s father Mark, partner of Tracy, and brother Jake, 13, who were travelling in a separate car, were injured in the multiple car collision.

Ethan was a pupil of All Saints Academy, which opened its doors to his schoolfriends this week for them to pay their respects.

Acting Principal Liz Furber, said: “Everyone at All Saints Academy has been extremely saddened by the tragic news of the death of Ethan and Joshua Houghton, their mother Tracey and her partner’s daughter Aimee. There has been an overwhelming response from members of the local community and friends of the children and the Academy will remain open throughout the week so that students have a place to pay their respects.”

She added: “I have been touched and heartened by the way in which our whole community has come together at this sad time. Students have been steadily arriving at the Academy to leave floral tributes and sign books of condolence and support will be given for vulnerable students as we move through the next difficult months.

“Joshua was due to join us in September and made a real impact during our transition weeks. Ethan was already a member of our Year 8 and is remembered by many of our staff including his Head of Year, Josh Smith.”

Josh Smith, Head of Year 8, said: “Ethan was a popular lad that was well respected by all in his peer group. Whenever you walked into a classroom he would have a smile on his face. He worked incredibly hard throughout all lessons and was a pleasure to work with throughout school. Ethan had an incredible ability to get on with everyone in the year, demonstrating his popularity. He was always a polite student who had the greatest of respect when communicating with members of staff.

“He had a particular passion for Physical Education, regardless of the sport being covered, using this time as a chance to shine and show off both his sporting ability but also leadership skills which he possessed.”

The Headteacher of Ashton St. Peter’s Church of England VA Primary School, Shirley McGinty, said: “Everyone at our school is deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic accident. All those involved have been a part of our school at times during the last 9 years. We have very fond memories of Ethan, Josh and Aimee who were all popular cheerful children and all part of loving and supportive families.

“Josh only left our school at the end of the summer term. He was a delightful boy and part of a close group of friends who used to arrive at school especially early every day to give them more time to play football together. Mum, Tracy joined us on the last day of term for our end of year service in the Priory Church and then at Jacc’s café for a milk shake, a special treat for our Year 6 leavers. A lovely memory of a special day shared with Josh and his mum, which we will always treasure.

“On Sunday afternoon we opened our school to give all our families the opportunity to spend time together. They brought floral tributes, lit candles and helped to create a book of memories for the families. It was heart-warming to see so many of our families here, both past and present, offering their support and condolences to both the Houghton and Goldsmith families. Time was spent reflecting quietly and sharing memories of happier times. Past pupils have continued to visit the school throughout the week.

“Our love, thoughts and prayers are with both families at this time.”

A 30-year-old man from Andover was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed until October 5.