Village falls silent for funeral of five-month-old killed in car crash

Village falls silent for funeral of five-month-old boy killed when van swerved off the road and ploughed into his pram – as his mother, 36, remains seriously injured in hospital

  • Five-month-old Louis died at the scene of a crash in Cambridgeshire last month 
  • His mother Rachael Thorold,36, was pushing her son in his pram along pavement
  • A Mazda collided with a Renault van, which hit Mrs Thorold and her son’s pram 

A village fell silent today for the funeral of a five-month-old baby boy killed when a van left the A10 at Waterbeach and ploughed into his pram.

Louis Thorold died at the scene and his mother, Rachel, 36, who remains in hospital, was seriously injured.

The cortege drove around the village green and then through Horningsea and into Cambridge.

Rachael Thorold, 36, was pushing her five-month-old son Louis in his pram along a pavement beside the A10 in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire when they were hit by a van. This photo of Ms Thorold holding her smiling son was taken just hours before the collision last month

Waterbeach, a village in Cambridgeshire, fell silent today for funeral of five-month-old Louis

 As the hearse made its way to Cambridge, around 200 residents stood by the village green to mark the sad occasion.

In an emotional post to his village Facebook group, the baby’s father and Rachel’s husband Chris spoke of the ‘extremely hard three weeks’ since the crash.

Inviting Waterbeach residents to pay their respects on a local Facebook group, Louis’ dad Chris wrote that: ‘Rachael is asleep, but is stable and making progress each day.’

He thanked the ‘amazing community’ for their generous support in raising more than £200,000 in Louis’ memory ‘for the amazing people who helped my little ones.’

The thousands of pounds raised so far will be split between two charities – East Anglia Air Ambulance and Brake, a road safety charity, according to the GoFundMe page.

Chris added: ‘I’ve set up a charity in Louis’ memory (which is in the process of being formally registered), but its first achievement will be to change the A10 junction where this happened so this never happens again.’

The fatal incident happened at about 3.50pm on the A10, Ely Road, Waterbeach, on January 22 when a grey Mazda 2 was in collision with a white Renault Master van.

The van left the road and collided with Rachel, who was walking on the pavement with her baby Louis in a pushchair.

The cortege drove around the village green and then through Horningsea and into Cambridge

Mourners lined the streets as the cortege passed through Waterbeach on its way to Cambridge

In an emotional post to his village Facebook group, Louis’s father and Rachel’s husband Chris spoke of the ‘extremely hard three weeks’. Pictured: villagers paying their respects

The driver of the van and the driver of the Mazda suffered slight injuries.

An inquest last week heard that Louis died from a traumatic head injury and was adjourned until April 26.

In a tribute to his son, Thorold said: ‘You were only with us for a short time, but you made us the happiest people in the world.

‘I cannot describe how heartbroken we are that you are gone.’ 

Mr Thorold, the finance director of Marshall Aerospace, added: ‘Your joyful smile and laughter will never leave us.’

Ms Thorold is currently on maternity leave from her role as a planning policy manager for Elmbridge Borough Council, which has its main offices in Esher, Surrey.

Rachel, pictured here with husband Chris on their wedding day in 2015, remains unconscious

Just weeks before the crash, Mrs Thorold, a council local plan manager, shared a picture of her son as a newborn. Alongside the Instagram post she wrote: ‘Five years in the making’. 

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed that no arrests have been made but that an investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with information should call 101 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report quoting incident 278 of January 22. 

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