West Bowling hit-and-run victim’s brothers join Bradford Academy friends in memorial (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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West Bowling hit-and-run victim’s brothers join Bradford Academy friends in memorial
The brothers of schoolboy hit-and-run victim Bilal Khizar yesterday bravely joined hundreds of other pupils to pay tribute to him.
There were tears and smiles as 12-year-old Bilal was remembered at a series of morning assemblies at Bradford Academy, where he had been in his second year.
His brothers Aafacq, 17, and Zain, 14, insisted on going to school yesterday to join fellow pupils in mourning their brother’s loss and celebrating his life.
Children, helped by equally-shocked staff, were preparing a book of condolence and a celebration is planned at Bradford Cathedral on Friday.
Academy chaplain, the Rev Rob Taylor, said he had seen Zain at the academy yesterday. He said: “He wanted to be here, in the community he has immersed himself in, surrounded by people who care and can get alongside him and help his grief.”
Mr Taylor said Bilal was a colourful character, who would be greatly missed. Other pupils felt a deep sadness, confusion, upset and anger about his death.
Bilal, who lived in Spring Wood Gardens, West Bowling, died when he was struck by a red Seat Ibiza, which was fleeing from police, while he was on a pedestrian crossing near Asda in Rooley Lane at 7pm on Saturday.
The car had made off from police after being stopped shortly beforehand in a layby in Rooley Lane. An investigation is being carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Detectives were yesterday given further time by magistrates to question a 21-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, arrested in connection with the fatal road traffic collision.
Bilal’s family was too upset to talk yesterday.
She said: “They are all devastated. I have known Bilal’s mother for several years. She worked as a teaching assistant at Bowling Primary School, which Bilal attended.
“I couldn’t believe it could be her child. She is a mother who is very disciplined about where her children are and what they are doing.
“Everyone is very touched and moved by this. Most of our children have been to school with Bilal. It feels like a tragedy within your own home. That’s how close everyone feels to this family.”
More than 70 floral tributes have now been left at the accident scene. They included one from Bilal’s teacher, saying “Rest in peace. You will be missed.”
A floral tribute from “your good mate Owen,” read: “I will always miss you, but also remember all the good times we had.”
Bilal also has a four-year-old sister, Nehar, who is in the reception class at the academy’s primary school.
Gareth Dawkins, executive principal of Bradford Academy, said Bilal’s tragic loss was a devastating blow. He said distraught children and staff were trying to come terms with the shock.
“He was a unique and beautiful boy with a fantastic smile and a great sense of humour. It was a privilege to teach him,” he said. “He had his whole life before him. It is a tragedy that that future has been snatched away from him.
“Bilal’s friends describe him as a gentle person and a friend to many.”
Anyone who saw the incident or who saw the car being driven are asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.